The finalists for the year-end awards in MLS were announced by the league on Wednesday. And it's no surprise Carlos Vela's name popped up in a few places.
The LAFC captain is a finalist for both the MLS MVP and the MLS Newcomer of the Year awards. The driving force behind LAFC's third-place finish in the Western Conference in its inaugural season, Vela was integral to the Black & Gold despite missing six matches while away with Mexico at the World Cup in Russia.
Here are four stats that make the case for Vela's finalist selection:
14Carlos Vela led LAFC with 14 goals this season. He was tied for seventh in MLS in goals in 2018. Vela was one of just three MLS players in 2018 to be Top 10 in goals, assists, and shots on goal this season.
13Also LAFC's leader in assists this season with 13, Carlos Vela assist total was tied for the sixth-best in MLS this season. Of the players in the Top 10 in assists this season, only one player scored more goals than Vela in 2018 (Ignacio Piatti 16).
6Carlos Vela was named to the MLS Team of the Week on six separate occasions. Vela was MLS Player of the Week for Week 33 after his two goals and two assists in a 4-2 win over the Houston Dynamo.
10Carlos Vela scored plenty in tough environments as well. In 2018, the LAFC captain had 10 goals away from Banc of California Stadium. He was second in MLS in away goals this season.