No surprise, as the forward has missed the last three games with a quad injury. While all manner of rumor and conspiracy theory has swirled, four weeks off with a quad injury is by no means unreasonable, and if anything, perhaps a rather speedy return given the injury.
LAFC head coach Bob Bradley gave a succinct update to Vela’s status during media availability on Friday.
“He has trained this week, it’s been up another notch which is great,” Bradley told reporters. “And he is a possibility for some minutes on Sunday night.”
That’s not necessarily an indication that Vela will start — I would guess he won’t. But it does sound like he may be on the bench to start the game and if he travels, he probably will play at least a few minutes, but of course we’ll see.
As for other injuries, forward Kwadwo Opoku, who’s played regularly for LAFC in the opening four games, went on loan to Las Vegas Lights on Wednesday and had to exit the game in the 2nd half. Bradley said the youngster’s state is TBD, although he does not sound likely to feature against the Sounders.
“He came off with a knee injury. We’re still evaluating, and we’ll know more in the next few days,” said Bradley.
Otherwise, LAFC’s lineup tends to be pretty fixed, although Bradley discussed how defender Diego Palacios has not been playing his best and hinted that Marco Farfan may even move up the depth chart at left back.
“I mentioned the other day that, for example, didn’t think it was Chiqui’s best game,” Bradley explained. “Chiqui prior to that this year, three good games, finished last season in Champions League in a very good way. And so one of the things that we are constantly trying to talk about with Chiqui is just his consistency, is his ability to bring his intensity and his football every minute of every game. I think it’s going in a good direction. I’m not sure why in the first half against the Galaxy, he didn’t bring his best, but he’s still an important player for us.
“In the meantime, I think Marco Farfan has done well. And so the competition between those two is going to make both better so those are the kinds of things that we looked at and that we’re working on as we go through each week,” he added.
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