The Major League Soccer regular season is now in the book, with the excitement starting to build for what should be an entertaining set of playoff matches this year.
The expectation is that LAFC will be the favourites heading into those playoffs, and to be honest, it isn’t exactly hard to see why. They’ve been the standard by which all other teams have been measured this season, and we can’t see that ceasing to be the case for a good long while yet.
As reported by BBC and MLS Soccer, however, one man specifically is finding it difficult not to steal the spotlight for himself as Carlos Vela continues to break records for the expansion team.
The star we knew he could be
Vela came into this matchday knowing that it was his big moment to break Josef Martinez’s single-season goalscoring record in the MLS, which stood at 31 goals. Instead of just beating it, though, he tore through it with ruthless efficiency as a hat-trick from the Mexican star ensured he would be the main talking point by the end of the night.
Quite a few people from within LAFC, as you can imagine, had some interesting thoughts on Carlos’ most recent accolade.
“Always when I start the season, I dream high, but [it doesn’t] always happen,” Vela said. “This time everything was successful, everything was in a good way, and I really enjoyed every day of the season. I’m really happy for that.”
“Regardless of whether he broke the goal record today or not,” said John Thorrington, LAFC’s general manager. “He’s had the best season in the history of this league. I am glad to see that it’s now unequivocally in doubt, [given his] goals and assists, his involvement in goals, his involvement in our record goal differential, all those things. How it came together today was special.”
Lighting it up
Aside from the pointless Zlatan Ibrahimovic ‘feud’ that seemed to come to light when the Swede was feeling a little bit left out of the conversation for best striker in the league, there hasn’t really been all too much to say about Vela outside of this: he’s a phenomenal goalscorer and his time in the MLS should be treasured.
There are no exterior points that need to be touched upon because, let’s face it, the facts are all there for everyone to see. With the playoffs coming up there is going to be a certain expectation on his shoulders and that’s just fine. This single elimination format brings out the best in all of us, and while there’s a good chance that it’ll be LA Galaxy they square off with in the Conference Semis, we think they should embrace that as opposed to being concerned.
Some may argue they will lose their momentum as a result of not playing in the first round, but we’d counter that by suggesting they’re in the best position they could ever hope to be in. They’re on top of the world, and they know it.