MLS Review: Vela breaks record as LAFC clinch play-off spot, Ibrahimovic scores brace

By Sacha Pisani 18 August 2019 3036
MLS Review: Vela breaks record as LAFC clinch play-off spot, Ibrahimovic scores brace

Carlos Vela broke the record for most combined goals and assists in a single MLS season as Los Angeles FC secured a play-off spot, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a brace for LA Galaxy.

Vela took his tally to 39 overall thanks to 24 goals and 15 assists following LAFC's 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday.

The Mexican star – who still has nine regular-season matches remaining – eclipsed the previous record of 38 set by Sebastian Giovinco in 2015 with 22 goals and 16 assists.

Vela converted a 64th-minute penalty to make history and give league leaders LAFC the lead, while Adama Diomande sealed victory with eight minutes remaining.

"It's a good thing," former Real Sociedad forward Vela said about holding the record. "Always."

LAFC are the first team to book a spot in the post-season as they sit 16 points clear atop the Western Conference, while they are 13 points ahead of Philadelphia Union in the race for the Supporters' Shield.

Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia lost 2-0 away to lowly Chicago Fire.

Ibrahimovic was at the double as the 10-man Galaxy played out an entertaining 2-2 draw against Seattle Sounders on Saturday.

The Galaxy had defender Daniel Steres sent off in the sixth minute, but the home side still managed to salvage a point thanks to Ibrahimovic's two goals, which were sandwiched in between Raul Ruidiaz's opener and a Jorgen Skjelvik own goal with eight minutes remaining.

Ibrahimovic's Galaxy are third in the west and a point behind Minnesota United, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Orlando City.

Elsewhere, Dallas overturned a three-goal deficit to draw 3-3 at Montreal Impact, New York City routed lowly FC Cincinnati 4-1, DC United lost 1-0 to Vancouver Whitecaps and New York Red Bulls drew 1-1 with New England Revolution.

A quick-fire Mauro Manotas brace earned Houston Dynamo a 2-2 draw against Colorado Rapids, Sporting Kansas City edged San Jose Earthquakes 2-1, while Toronto drew 2-2 with Columbus Crew thanks to Jozy Altidore 90th-minute equaliser.

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Sacha Pisani

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