LAFC's Carlos Vela Named 2019 MLS MVP over Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IINovember 4, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25:  Carlos Vela #10 of Los Angeles FC celebrates his goal during Los Angeles FC's MLS match against Los Angeles Galaxy at the Banc of California Stadium on August 25, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.  The match ended in a 3-3 draw.  (Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images)
Shaun Clark/Getty Images

Carlos Vela has been named the 2019 Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player after a record-breaking season with LAFC:

The Mexican scooped 69 per cent of the weighted vote to take top spot ahead of LA Galaxy's Zlatan Ibrahimovic with 14 per cent and Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez in third on six per cent.

Vela netted 34 goals in 31 regular-season appearances for LAFC as well as contributing 15 assists to pick up the award for the first time in his career.

The striker's exploits helped LAFC top the Western Conference table with 72 points, a massive 16 points ahead of second-placed Seattle Sounders. They also netted 85 goals in what was a record-breaking campaign:

LAFC ran away with the Supporters' Shield and enjoyed a thrilling 5-3 win over the Galaxy in the Western Conference play-off semi-final, with Vela scoring twice.

However, there will be no MLS Cup for Bob Bradley's team after they were beaten 3-1 by Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference final, just their second defeat in 2019.

Major League Soccer offered some highlights of their campaign:

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Vela's goals this season also saw him become the highest scoring Mexican player in MLS history, and he is also the first Mexican to scoop the MLS MVP award.

LAFC noted how Vela compares with recent MVP winners:

The 30-year-old was handed the award on Monday in a ceremony at the club's Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles:

There is no doubt that Vela has thrived since arriving at LAFC in January 2018 ahead of their first season in MLS. He had previously enjoyed spells in the Premier League with Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion, and in La Liga at Real Sociedad, Osasuna and Celta Vigo.

Vela also landed the MLS Golden Boot in 2019, beating Ibrahimovic to the trophy. His MVP award also follows on from Bradley being named the 2019 MLS Sigi Schmid Coach of the Year in October.