LAFC's Vela, Bradley join Galaxy's Ibrahimovic as finalists for MLS awards
In a year of first for LAFC, it's only natural the captain would be nominated for Newcomer of the Year.
Carlos Vela was named 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 finished the MLS regular season in the top 10 in goals (t-7th), assists (t-6th), shots (8th) and shots on goal (t-4th) despite missing six matches while playing for Mexico in the World Cup. His ten goals away from home were also good enough for second across the league.
Vela, 29, was named to the MLS Team of the Week in six separate occasions and was also voted Week 33’s Player of the Week following a two-goal and two-assist performance in the Club’s 4-2 victory over Houston Dynamo on October 12. He led the Club in goals (14), assists (13), shots (97), and shots on goal (44).
Other finalist for MVP are: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Josef Martinez and Miguel Almiron. Ibrahimovic and Rooney also accompany Vela as the three finalist for Newcomer of the Year.
Ibrahimovic enjoyed a banner first season with the Galaxy, scoring 22 goals and 10 assists in 27 appearances. In addition to the previously mentioned nominations, Ibrahimovic was also named a finalist for Comeback Player of the Year.
Meanwhile, head coach Bob Bradley is looking to become the second coach in MLS history to win the MLS Coach of the Year award in three separate occasions. Bradley previously won the award with the Chicago Fire in 1998 and Chivas USA in 2006.
In his tenth overall season as head coach in MLS, Bradley led LAFC to the most points by an expansion team in its inaugural campaign with 57, while also helping the Club become just the third expansion side to reach the postseason in its first season.
Under Bradley, LAFC finished top five in goals (2nd, 68), assists (4th, 64), shots (3rd, 527), shots on goal (2nd, 204), and goal differential (4th, +16). The Club was also just one of two teams to suffer only one home defeat in the 2018 regular season.
With an all-time record of 140-103-63 in MLS, Bradley is the second winningest active coach in league history and ranks fourth all-time in regular season victories.
LAFC will make begin its postseason legacy Thursday, November 1 at home vs. Real Salt Lake at 7:30p.