The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) signed Carlos Vela this August as the club’s first-ever “designated player.” It was a “momentous day” for the club, in the words of John Thorrington, LAFC’s general manager and executive vice president of soccer operations. He rightfully predicted that Vela would excite the club’s fans. Jason Sugarman, who is one of the many celebrity investors of the club, is intently focused on how Vela would perform in 2018 when the club would make its debut.
Who is Carlos Vela?
Carlos Vela may not be known to regional soccer fans, but he has extensive international playing experience, according to Mr. Thorrington. Vela is young but has played in many top leagues around the world. Until recently, Vela was with Real Sociedad, the famous Spanish soccer club, as a celebrated forward. Next year, he will transfer to MLS club and play with LAFC. Vela is playing the remainder of this year with Real Sociedad.
LAFC has stated that Vela is the “exact type and profile of player” the club has been looking for. And it’s hard not to see why. Vela is hailed for his versatile and high-end attacking style in his position. He’s also unique because, though he is known as a forward, he plays other positions fluidly as well. He has yet to play a forward in this soccer season for Sociedad, where the club is only behind Barcelona. Vela has been a great secondary playmaker this season for Sociedad. It’s not hard to see the star-level potential here.
Vela got his professional start playing for the Mexican national team. But in the past few years, he has mainly played professional soccer in Spain and England, two of the best places for the game. He really emerged as a noteworthy player in the 2013-14 season, when he scored 16 goals for his team, three of which were in the UEFA Champions League. This year, he appeared in three 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup games. He has played 6 games for the 2018 World Cup cycle, scoring twice.
LAFC’s Coach, Bob Bradley, formerly of the U.S. national team, has called Vela an “exciting attacking player.” Vela is tapped to develop the “style and tempo” for LAFC that the club will bring to the 2018 soccer season. Expectations are flying high, and Vela is well prepped to meet them.
LAFC’s Highly Anticipated Debut is Just around the Corner
Mr. Sugarman is excited about many things for the next year’s soccer season. For one, LAFC’s Banc of California Stadium is coming along nicely and will be ready for the upcoming season. The construction of the stadium is bringing over $300 million worth of private investments to L.A. It will be a soccer-specific and will also be the first open-air stadium built in the city since 1962.
The 2018 MLS season is expected to be quite busy. The club’s main objective right now is to ensure that players are well trained, and also don’t get injured playing this year’s season. Once that’s accomplished, LAFC’s debut season won’t be any less than a total blast.