Los Angeles FC forward Carlos Vela broke the Major League Soccer (MLS) single-season scoring record on his club win against Colorado Rapids, 3-1 at the Banc of California Stadium last October 6th.
Vela scored in the 28th, 31st and 51st minute for the hat-trick to punch 34 goals in 30 matches this season, a new scoring record for the MLS, breaking the previous record of 31 goals scored by Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez in 34 matches back in 2018 MLS season.
With this unprecedented record, Vela got the Golden Boot award this season beating Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Los Angeles Galaxy, which scored 30 goals this season, followed by Atlanta United’s Martinez that fired 27 goals.
“At the end of this incredible season which we’re all proud to see Carlos finish off that way is special for everyone. I said to everyone inside that everybody in the club – all the players, staff – everybody is so happy for him because as a guy, he’s so positive,’’ said Los Angeles FC coach Bob Bradley via ESPN.
“He’s a great teammate, he’s good to the people around him every day and he’s had just a special, special year. That is first. We’re all incredibly proud of what he’s accomplished.”
“The most points in history is really important because we showed how good we are. It shows how good our chemistry is but we want more,’’ Vela said on the same ESPN article.
“If we don’t win the MLS Cup, the record is nothing so we have to keep working. Maybe tonight we will celebrate a little bit but starting tomorrow we have to think about the playoff [game] and be ready.”
Los Angeles FC finished on the top of the MLS Western Conference with 72 points, giving them a bye in the first round of the MLS Cup playoffs.
The Los Angeles Galaxy or Minnesota United FC are either the opponent of Los Angeles FC in the conference semifinals. Seattle Sounders and FC Dallas will face each other in another bracket with the winner will battle the winner of the Real Salt Lake- Portland Timbers match-up in another conference semifinals match-up.
New York FC also drew a by in the first round of the playoffs after topping the MLS Eastern Conference with 64 points as they will face in the conference semifinals the winner of DC United- Toronto FC match-up.
Defending MLS Cup champion Atlanta United will face New England Revolution in the first round with the winner will face the victors of another first-round match-up between the Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls.
Tim Howard retires from professional football
One of the best goalkeepers in the history of US men’s football team retires.
Tim Howard, announced he is quitting football for good after the last game of his current MLS club Colorado Rapids.
“I would love to play until I’m 80, but that’s not the way this works,” said Howard via The Los Angeles Times on his final game as a professional football player, with his current club Rapids loss to Los Angeles FC, 3-1.
Last January, Howard announced on his Twitter account that the 2019 MLS season will be the last time playing for a professional football club.
“This is something that’s been on my radar for a number of years now,” Howard said via The Denver Post on his decision to retire. “I knew the length of the contract (with the Rapids) would take me to (age) 40. It seemed like the right time. I always had my sights set on this.”
“This is far from a farewell tour, that was never my intention,” Howard added at that time. “I didn’t want any rumors to start, I wanted it out of the way.”
Howard began his football career playing for New Jersey Imperials in the defunct United Soccer Leagues in 1997. He transferred to New York/New Jersey Metrostars, now known as New York Red Bulls in the MLS, a year later, when he played under current Los Angeles FC coach Bob Bradley and won the MLS Best Goalkeeper award in 2001 and became a two-time MLS All-Star.
“I have great respect for Tim [and] everything he’s accomplished in his career. Whenever a player like that gets to the end, you just want to make sure that people show respect for not only what they did on the field but just how they carried themselves,” Bradley quoted in the same The Los Angeles Times article said.
Howard later on transferred to Manchester United for a 4 million US Dollars transfer deal with Metrostars back in 2003. In his time with United as first option goalkeeper, he won an FA Cup, EFL Cup, and FA Community Shield Cup trophies.
He later signed with Everton in 2007 and later on returned to sign with Colorado Rapids in 2016.
Howard is also the starting goalkeeper for the United States and played 121 games, which he had 42 saves throughout his national team career.
He made a record back in 2014 FIFA World Cup after recorded 15 saves in the single match, a World Cup record against Belgium during the Round of 16 but unfortunately the Americans loss against the Belgians, 2-1.
After his retirement, Howard will continue his analyst gig with Turner Sports and managed several clubs which he had financial interest like the Memphis 901 FC, a club competing in the United Soccer League(USL) championship, a second-tier league of MLS and Dagenham and Redbridge FC, a club belong to National League- a fifth-tier league under the English Football system.