Vela beat out the competition in a landslide, taking over 69 percent of the weighted vote to capture the top individual prize in MLS among players. The 30-year-old, in his second season in MLS, broke multiple records in 2019. He set a new single-season scoring mark in MLS, notching 34 goals in 31 regular-season appearances, with a 1.10 goals-per-game average that ranks No. 1 all-time in MLS history among players with at least 15 goals in a single campaign.
Finishing third in the assists chart, with 15, Vela’s 49 combined goals plus assists also set a new league mark. Alongside his individual accomplishments, Vela captained LAFC to a record-breaking year, as the Black & Gold tallied a record 72 points en route to winning the Supporters’ Shield, posted a best-ever goal differential of +48, and tied the single-season league record for goals by a team, with 85. Vela is the first Mexican player to win MLS MVP, and is the all-time record goal scorer among Mexican players in MLS, with 48 in regular-season play.
A product of Chivas de Guadalajara’s academy, Vela joined LAFC ahead of their first season in 2018 after playing in England and Spain, most notably for Arsenal and Real Sociedad. He was also named to the 2019 MLS Best XI, following up on his selection in 2018.
Vela was the clear winner across all voting blocs for MVP. His closest competitors were his MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi rivals, LA Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who notched 30 goals on the season, and Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez, who was the 2018 MLS MVP.