Bob Bradley’s LAFC team have become appointment viewing during the 2019 MLS season, a trend that’ll be kicked up a few notches come Saturday against Real Salt Lake (10 pm ET | TV & streaming info).
The reason? Carlos Vela is one goal or assist from claiming host to the most combined goals and assists in an MLS season.
The Designated Player is currently tied with Giovinco on 38, after reaching 23 goals and 15 assists in last weekend’s win over the New York Red Bulls. The Mexican star has reached that point through 23 games, while it took the Italian 28 games during his 2015 season with Toronto FC.
Here’s a look at the top-five seasons of combined goals and assists all-time in MLS.
Goals and assists
San Jase Earthquakes
It’s quite the list, with the others being Atlanta United striker Josef Martinez (37), San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski (34) and some MLS greats in Jason Kreis and Robbie Keane.
Another layer to the Giovinco record is team play, as LAFC are the runaway Supporters’ Shield leaders and, by association, among the favorites to win MLS Cup. But during Giovinco’s 2015 campaign, TFC fell to rivals Montreal Impact in the Eastern Conference Knockout Round and the Supporters’ Shield went to the New York Red Bulls.
In all, it’s yet another record that Vela is chasing, and on the verge of breaking, during the 2019 season. Most prominently, Vela is seeking the single-season goals record (31) that Martinez set in 2018.