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Get to know LAFC’s Carlos Vela

What to know about our first Designated Player.

Real Sociedad v Sevilla - La Liga Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Getting ready for the 2018 Los Angeles Football Club season? Yeah, we are too. We’re gearing up for the expansion team’s campaign with a look at each of the players who have been officially added for the season. Today we look at forward Carlos Vela.

Age: 28

How LAFC acquired him: Vela transferred from Real Sociedad in Spain to LAFC in August 2017.

Position(s): Right wing/left wing/center forward/withdrawn striker

Previous pro playing experience:

Real Sociedad (2012-18)

  • Made 250 appearances for La Liga club
  • Scored 73 goals in six seasons
  • Tallied 45 assists over time
  • Helped lead team to Champions League in 2013
  • Scored Champions League goal against Bayern Leverkusen on Oct. 2, 2013
  • Helped lead team to Europa League in 2014 and 2017
  • Helped lead team to semifinals of Copa del Rey in 2013-14
  • Helped lead team to quarterfinals of Copa del Rey in 2016-17
  • Helped lead team to round of 16 in Copa del Rey in 2014-15

Arsenal (2006-2012)

  • Helped lead team to Champions League in 2008 (semifinals), 2009, 2010
  • Scored two Champions League goals in a 6-0 win over Braga in the group stage in 2010
  • Helped lead team to semifinals of EFL Cup in 2010
  • Played in 64 games for the Gunners and scored 11 goals with 10 assists

West Bromwich Albion (loan stint 2011)

  • Played in eight games and scored two goals with one assist

CA Osasuna (loan stint 2007-2008)

  • Scored three goals and had four assists for Osasuna

UD Salamanca (loan stint 2006-2007)

  • Only played in one game for Salamanca in the Segunda Liga

International (2007-Present)

  • Earned 64 senior caps for Mexico since 2007
  • Played in eight games for the Mexico U-20 squad and eight games for Mexico U-17; Won 2005 U-17 World Cup, earning Golden Boot with five goals
  • Scored 18 goals to date for El Tri, including six in World Cup qualifications over those years.
  • Scored a brace against the Netherlands in a 3-2 win on Nov. 12, 2014
  • Scored in a 1-1 draw with the United States in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying on June 12, 2017.
  • World Cup appearances in 2010 against South Africa and France

Scouting Report

“He’s a good player. And, I am sure the Americans will know a lot about him from his years of competing against him when he played for Mexico. He’s a player who can play several positions and he can play off the right … he’s a left-footed player … he can play from the left and he can play as a center-forward. He’s got very good close control. He’s quicker than people give him credit for and he’s got a real good ability at making goals for people, so all around he’s a good player. I mean, on the downside maybe going back defensively he’s not always the best on the pitch, but good character and good international player.”

- David Moyes, Vela’s former manager at Real Sociedad

How will he feature for LAFC in 2018

Vela is dangerous. There is not another word to describe his potential on the pitch. But, perhaps the most important thing Vela brings to LAFC is experience. He has a ton of it and is only 28 years old, so there is still more in the tank. He has a presence on the pitch that should command instant respect from defenders across the league. He has seen success at just about every stop from Arsenal to Real Sociedad to the Mexican National Team. He is versatile and can play on the left, right or in the middle. It is likely Bob Bradley will play him on the right. He should play in most games for LAFC this season.


Here he is scoring against Sevilla in what was his last game with the team:

Fun Facts:

  • Stopped playing international football for three years and said at the time that soccer wasn’t his passion
  • According to, as a young player at Osasuna, he nutmegged Sergio Ramos
  • His brother Alejandro played for Necaxa and currently plays for Venados FC, on loan from Cruz Azul in Mexico. Alejandro played for Minnesota United when they were in NASL in 2015.
  • He is apparently a big fan of LeBron James:
  • In the 2013-14 season, Vela was nominated for best striker on La Liga along with Diego Costa and Cristiano Ronaldo. One name not on the list … Lionel Messi who was not nominated
  • Is a native of Cancun, which is not exactly a region known for producing players, although Atlante moved there in 2007 when they were in the first division

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