Major League Soccer has tabbed LAFC striker Carlos Vela as 2019 Landon Donovan MVP after his record-setting season led Bob Bradley‘s side to the Supporters’ Shield and the Western Conference finals.
Vela won the award in a landslide vote, earning 69.6% of the overall vote, including 80.3% of the player vote and 63.9% from the media. He becomes the first Mexican to win the award.
In a prophetic message just a week into the season, after scoring his first goal of the season in a 4-1 win over Portland, Vela said, “I’m working to be the MVP of the league. If I want to do that, I have to show every game how good I am.”
That goal would be the first of a record 34 scores in MLS play across the campaign, topping Josef Martinez’s 31-goal haul the previous season. Vela led LAFC to an MLS record 72-point total across the season, leading the Western Conference and winning the Supporters’ Shield with an eight-point differential over Eastern Conference winners NYCFC. The team also set MLS records for goal differential (+48), and goals scored (85).
LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was second in the voting with 14.1% of the vote, while Josef Martinez finished third and Maxi Morales finished fourth.