Carlos Vela and LAFC are just games away from winning the Supporters’ Shield, with the former Gunner leading their title charge.
The system in the MLS is different to England, with playoffs used to decide the overall champion each season. However, there is also a trophy awarded for the team with the best regular-season record, like in the Premier League, and LAFC are clear favourites to win it.
Vela’s club lead the league with 64 points, with NYCFC the closest competitors with 57. With just four games left and a seven-point gap, LAFC need six points to secure the trophy.
If they do so, they’ll have Vela to thank. The former Arsenal striker has 28 league goals this season, more than any other player. He also has 10 assists. The official MLS site has him at 15 assists – as they’ve started including pre-assists in their totals.
In all competitions, Vela has 30 goals and 11 assists in 30 games, putting him 11 goal contributions ahead of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, despite the Swedish international’s attempts to force himself into the conversation for the division’s best player this campaign.
Statistically, Vela is the clear leader in the MLS, with WhoScored giving him an average rating of 8.47, over 0.5 above anybody else to play more than the average number of MLS matches. Vela also has 14 MotM awards, five more than anybody else.
LAFC face Toronto FC and Houston Dynamo in their next two games. We’ll post an update if and when they manage to secure the Supporters’ Shield.