Coup: LAFC lands its Mexican star

LAFC, which will begin play in MLS in 2018, signed its first big-name star when it landed Mexican international Carlos Vela, who will arrive in time from Spanish club Real Sociedad for preseason training in January.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Vela, 28, would become LAFCs first DP signing. Vela confirmed the move with a video in the fashion of the announcement 12 days earlier that Bob Bradley would become the LAFC head coach.

Vela starred for Mexico when it won the U-17 World Cup in 2005, and he played at the 2010 World Cup and on Gold Cup championship teams in 2009 and 2015. He scored when Mexico beat the USA, coached by Bradley, 5-0, in the 2009 final.

Coup. LAFC reportedly tried and failed to land two other Mexican stars, Javier Hernandez (who joined West Ham United from Bayer Leverkusen) and Andres Guardado (Real Betis from PSV).

One stumbling block has been Mexico national team coach Carlos Osorio's perceived dim view of playing in a league like MLS in a World Cup year. Vela, who scored the tying goal for Mexico in its 1-1 tie with the USA in June, turned down a trip to the 2014 World Cup but is eager to play in 2018.

But Jonathan dos Santos, a key midfielder for El Tri and close friend of Vela's, joined his brother, Giovani, at the LA Galaxy, LAFC's archrival-to-be, last week.

13 comments about "Coup: LAFC lands its Mexican star".
  1. John Soares, August 9, 2017 at 12:08 p.m.

    Giant first step!

  2. I w Nowozeniuk, August 9, 2017 at 1:52 p.m.

    He will only be as good as the supporting teammates on the pitch.

  3. Ric Fonseca, August 9, 2017 at 3:31 p.m.

    Hey I w, you're absolutely correct and one factor that MUST be weighed is the coaching staff, as the coaching HAS to be up to the level that Vela is accustomed, lastly as for Osorio's anti-MLS "rant" IMHO he should talk, after all he graduated from a US university had his chance coaching in the MLS, so... are his anti league rants sour grapes 'cause HE didn't cut it as an MLS coach? Vela will be and is an excellent signing, especially here in the heart of the City of Los Angeles, so just wait and watch how many more quality players will be brought in!

  4. Mike Polonski, August 9, 2017 at 4:26 p.m.

    The boys on ESPN FC suggested that Vela does not have the tactical discipline to play for Bradley. Hopefully they will work that out as he is perfect for the LA market. However, I disagree with Osorio's attitude. There have been many MLS players over the years, both foreign and domestic, who have done well at a World Cup. European-based players would be rusty at a World Cup if their playing time is limited.

  5. Ric Fonseca replied, August 9, 2017 at 5:51 p.m.

    Mike, all I need to say to the so called ESPN FC "boys" is yeah right! Hell, if he - Vela - is that tactically "undisciplined" then why in hell did LAFC even go ahead and sign him? As for being "perfect for the LA market," you're spot on, even more than the Dos Santos bros, whose team (LAG) really does not represent Los Angeles, but the sleepy burg of Carson and the other connecting south bay burgs. And you're spot on again with your note on Osorio, jeez, he sounds somewhat like old JK who didn't want US players to play here at home!

  6. R2 Dad, August 9, 2017 at 7:46 p.m.

    We don't see it in the english press and web sites but apparently the Mexican press doesn't believe this is a smart move for Vela--they want him to go to a bigger league, a bigger challenge. Isn't this the opposite of what we see here? The US media wants top players to stay home/come home to MLS? Would it have been OK if Vela went back to Mexico?

  7. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, August 10, 2017 at 9:25 a.m.

    I see plenty in the US media who want US players to play in Europe. And I agree generally if they are playing somewhere that is a step up from MLS.

  8. Ric Fonseca, August 9, 2017 at 10:02 p.m.

    Interesting that R2D2 Dada mentions the Mexican press, however, about one hour or so ago, I saw the program 4En Linea four well known former players and one veteran announcer and the kid whose father Jorge Berry was an announcer of renown) Go at it pencil and toungue, meaning that three of the four, except for Alejandro Berry supported Vela's move to this side of the pond. Berry, really tore up the MLS, while the other three supported it with plain logic and while they did agree that MLS is not quite up to par with say La Liga or the EPL they did say that the MLS is growing in stature, in addition they had a short clip on other Euros coming here and said that it would be just a matter of time when MLS will be nor just good, but darned good. As for Vela went back to go back to Mexico, sure why the heck not!!! Actually Vela wanted to come back and go with the Mexican NT to South Africa and Brazil, yet, the coaches then didn't even grant him a spot or even try out for the team, so he just blew them off and said he'd grow more in Europe and in La Liga As for our players going to Europe and or to Mexico, now R2D2 Dad, that's another story !!! CARLOS VELA, BIEN VENIDO A LOS ANGELES!!!

  9. Ric Fonseca, August 9, 2017 at 10:04 p.m.

    Oh and I forgot to say that Chicharito was interviewed giving Vela and the Dos Santos brothers his full support, even hinting that he might also be next - after the EPL season and probably after the next WC. Actually the program ran a banner indicating that Chicharito WILL be the next one to wander to this side of the Pond!

  10. R2 Dad replied, August 10, 2017 at 12:20 a.m.

    I saw that, too. Very interesting, I don't think I've seen Chicharito so animated in an interview before. Very defensive of Mexican professionals getting criticized at ever turn. I hope this works out for Vela--not sure Bob B is the best fit but maybe he's learned some new tricks from that cup of coffee at Swansea.

  11. R2 Dad replied, August 10, 2017 at 12:22 a.m.

    No edit function, forgot the comma: Very defensive of Mexican professionals, (who are) getting criticized at every turn".

  12. Miguel Dedo, August 10, 2017 at 8:12 p.m.

    We may be seeing the point at which MLS overtakes Mexican clubs in what they can pay players. In time, MLS will be a stronger league than MX.

  13. Craig Cummings, August 10, 2017 at 9:41 p.m.

    BOB B will be the best coach in MLS next season. I wish he would have gone to LA Galaxy.

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