Los Angeles Football Club confirmed all the reports on Wednesday, officially announcing Mexican forward Carlos Vela will join the MLS expansion team ahead of their maiden season in 2018, on a transfer from La Liga side Real Sociedad.
As Real Sociedad announced on Tuesday, Vela will remain with them through the end of this year. The 28-year-old has been in San Sebastian since 2011, and has twice been named Real Sociedad’s Player of the Season in his stint there.
“This is another momentous day for LAFC,” said LAFC general manager and executive vice president of soccer operations John Thorrington in a team statement. “Carlos is a player who will excite our fans, and who, despite his age, has great experience playing internationally and in the top leagues in the world. He is the exact type and profile of player we have been targeting and couldn’t be more excited to announce him as LAFC’s first-ever Designated Player.”
The announcement of Vela comes at the close of the MLS secondary transfer window on Wednesday, which, while not binding for LAFC’s purposes, symbolically ensures they have added a big-name player the summer before they kick off at Banc of California Stadium.
"It is very special for me to be the first Designated Player in LAFC history,” Vela said in the team release. “I'm honored to be here and to begin my new adventure playing for the people of Los Angeles.”
"Carlos is an exciting attacking player capable of scoring and setting up goals," LAFC head coach Bob Bradley added. “He has played in big matches with Mexico, in the Premiership and La Liga, and will help establish the style and tempo that we want to build at LAFC.”
Vela will be introduced to the press in Los Angeles on Friday, ahead of La Liga’s season kicking off next weekend.
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