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Fuel Soccer Talk: Vela ties record for most goals in a season; Pulisic sits again for Chelsea; Reign FC clinch playoff spot

Carlos Vela ties Josef Martinez’s MLS single-season goals record of 31

With his 31st goal of 2019, LAFC superstar Carlos Vela has tied Major League Soccer’s record for most goals in a season, set by Josef Martinez last year. Vela struck his historic goal in the 70th minute of Sunday’s Week 30 clash at Minnesota United. The Mexican star will now attempt to break Josef’s single-season mark when LAFC take on the Colorado Rapids at home on Decision Day, presented by AT&T.

Even before Sunday’s efforts, Vela had set the league record for goals plus assists in a single season and now has 46 goals plus assists, in possibly the league’s best ever single-season.

Prior to Martinez’s landmark last season, the single-season goal record had stood for years, with Roy Lassiter’s 27 goals in 1996 only being tied by Chris Wondolowski in 2012 then Bradley Wright-Phillips in 2014.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has 29 goals this season, chasing Vela for the Golden Boot presented by Audi as well as Martinez’s record.

Christian Pulisic admits being “very frustrated” with lack of playing time

If you do a Google search under news with three words – Christian, Pulisic, frustrated – you will get a long list of stories. In other words, Christian Pulisic is “frustrated” with his lack of playing time at Chelsea. He’s not exactly keeping it a secret.

The rising American star was again left on the bench as an unused substitute for the Blues on Saturday in a 2-0 win over Brighton. It was the third straight league game in which he has been an unused sub, and he has played in just one of his team’s last five matches. Pulisic started in the Carabao Cup against Grimsby Town midweek and played as a substitute against Valencia in the Champions League.

Following Saturday’s match, Pulisic voiced his frustration with NBC Sports about his lack of playing time under manager Frank Lampard.

“Yeah, of course, it is very frustrating, but I will continue to work my hardest because I want to play,” said Pulisic, who added that Lampard hasn’t given him any pointers on how to break into the regular starting lineup.

NWSL: Reign FC clinches playoff spot with 2-0 win over Portland Thorns FC

Reign FC defeated Portland Thorns FC for the third time this season with a 2-0 victory. The win for Reign FC clinched the final postseason spot.

Reign FC’s record is now 10-6-7 with 37 points, while Portland Thorns FC’s is now 11-6-6 with 39 points.

Jodie Taylor and Bethany Balcer scored in each half for Reign FC, the club’s third shutout this season over their Cascadia rival. The loss for Portland guaranteed Chicago Red Stars second place in the standings.

Send story ideas to Terry Jacoby at tajacoby@comcast.net