Week 21 of the 2019 Major League Soccer season is in the books, and while one Mexican American youngster from the LA Galaxy pondered a possible switch to the Mexico National Team, his team got pummeled in Portland. Meanwhile, Carlos Vela continued to break records after another LAFC win. Here’s what we learned from Week 21.
Julian Araujo still open to Mexico switch
First things is first, while not technically MLS, the Leagues Cup Quarterfinals were played this week, as the LA Galaxy sealed their place in the Semifinals of the competition following a tense penalty shootout win over Xolos de Tijuana.
For some members of Mexican media, this was their first real look at 17-year-old Galaxy defender Julian Araujo, who just hours earlier had declared to the Scuffed Soccer podcast his openness to a possible switch to the Mexico National Team. Araujo represented the United States in last month’s U-20 World Cup, but most recently gained the interest of Mexico fans and media after his performance in the win over LAFC.
Obviously, Araujo gave the answer he was supposed to give, but considering the lack of the depth in the right back position for El Tri, it might not be a bad idea for Gerardo “Tata” Martino to keep an eye on the Mexican American youngster.
Consistency remains a problem for the Galaxy
Speaking of the LA Galaxy, their Mexican contingency had a nightmare game in their visit to the Portland Timbers on Saturday. Expectations were high for the five-time champs after their win over LAFC last week, but they turned up to a Portland with a complete dud, losing 4-0 and finishing the evening with ten men.
For the most part, Jonathan dos Santos was a non-factor in the match, while Uriel Antuna was responsible for missing arguably one of the game’s biggest chances. Efrain Alvarez, on the other hand, looked the most influential after coming on in the second half, but that quickly went to spoils too when he was sent off quite harshly in the 84th minute.
It’s all a little bit of the same for the Galaxy. Consistency has been their biggest concerns, and it’s one of the reasons why they are now third in the Western Conference standings behind LAFC and the Seattle Sounders.
Carlos Vela makes history
Carlos Vela added another milestone to his collection this week, leveling Erick “Cubo” Torres as the highest Mexican goalscorer in the history of Major League Soccer. Vela scored one of LAFC’s three goals that helped the Black and Gold beat the defending champions Atlanta United 4-3 on Friday.
Vela needed just two years to reach this milestone, and is on pace to break all sorts of records this season. He remains the top scorer in the league with 22 goals and is second in assists to only Maxi Moralez. He was also selected captain of the 2019 MLS All-Star team for a second year in a row and is everybody’s favorite to win the MVP trophy. Most importantly, the win over Atlanta United was something of a statement win in the race for the MLS Cup title and served as the perfect cherry on top for what was a memorable week in Carlos Vela’s career.