Yes, Los Angeles Football Club forward Carlos Vela has seven goals in six matches for the Black-and-Gold.
And, yes, he is also an early mention for Major League Soccer Most Valuable Player. But it might be a little too early to engrave the trophy just yet.
Despite all the accolades Vela has amassed in just the first six games of what will be a long season, it is important not to overlook other aspects of the LAFC attack.
First, the numbers:
- LAFC are currently first in the Western Conference on 16 points with Seattle Sounders second on 13 points – however Seattle and LA Galaxy (third with 12 points) both have a game in-hand.
- The Black & Gold have five wins and a draw to their credit in those first six matches.
Now, here is where it gets scary:
- In the first six matches of the season, LAFC has attained a goal differential of +14 (19 goals for and five against).
- That is tops, by a long shot, in MLS.
- The next-closest team is Seattle with a +8 goal differential.
- To note: Toronto FC – second in the Eastern Conference – is third with a goal differential of +7.
So, yes, the math suggests LAFC can score and score often.
However, all of that can’t be laid at the feet of Vela.
In fact, Diego Rossi picked up his first hat trick in the 4-0 away win at D.C. United over the weekend, giving him six goals on the season – one behind Vela for the league lead. Interestingly enough, Vela and Rossi are 1-2 on the list with Wayne Rooney, the Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Houston Dynamo’s Memo Rodriguez tied for third with four goals each.
While Vela is also tops on the league list with four assists, it is important to note that Adama Diomande is third with three.
Vela leads the league with 34 shots, but Rossi is also in the top five with 21 shots. Vela has 13 shots on goal while Rossi is one behind with 12.
The point here is that LAFC has proven to be more than just Vela on the pitch. Rossi, Diomande, Mark-Anthony Kaye and Steven Beitashour all deserve credit for LAFC’s offensive prowess.
Let us not forget the defense. This is a defense that has given up just five goals in six matches – including two clean sheets.
Tyler Miller and the LAFC defense has done yeoman’s work on their side of the pitch.
All-in-all, let us not lose sight of the entire team as we continue to praise Vela – justifiably so, I might add.
After all, the team is more than just one person.
M.A. Clark writes the weekly Black & Gold View for angelsonparade.com. If you have a comment or topic you would like addressed, make a comment below!