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Carlos Vela’s status uncertain as LAFC gear up for Galaxy clash

Sounds like superstar’s availability may go down to wire.

MLS: Los Angeles FC at Seattle Sounders FC Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

There wasn’t a ton of news for LAFC heading into their rivalry clash against the LA Galaxy on Saturday.

Well, except for injury updates, of course.

It’s become routine for head coach Bob Bradley to rattle off a list of injury updates during media availability each week, but on Thursday, the list was pretty small, mercifully.

“We’ve got guys back in training. Carlos [Vela] is doing a little bit, which is always important for all of us,” Bradley told reporters.

So, will Vela be available for El Trafico after sitting out the last two weeks with a quad injury? Bradley was pretty cagey, which judging by his usual openness on injury updates probably isn’t a good sign.

“Carlos’ situation will still be looked at and we’ll make a decision,” he said.

The other injury news was that Tristan Blackmon, who missed the last two starts and came off the bench against the Houston Dynamo, is training and looks like he’s ready to start again against the Galaxy.

While the LA rivalry gets all kinds of hype, both locally and nationally, LAFC fully understand the extra attention this fixture gets, while also trying to keep an even keel.

“It’s always exciting when we play the LA Galaxy. We know how important the game is to the city and the league. Also, the development of the game within North America, so it’s cool to know that we have such a big role to play in that,” said midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye.

At the same time, Kaye emphasized that LAFC always prepare for games by focusing on themselves.

Bradley mentioned the challenge was making sure players strike the right balance in terms of intensity during the game.

“The starting point for everybody is making sure everybody understands the intensity for derbies is very high, and that our ability to play quickly, think quickly. We certainly go into games trying to find ways to get chances, trying to find ways to control as many situations — both in attack and in defense — as possible. If you do that well, then you don’t give away much,” he said.

Kaye was in the Toronto FC organization at the start of Greg Vanney’s tenure there as the MLS team head coach, and the Canadian had praise for the new Galaxy manager.

“With the addition of Greg Vanney, he’s a very good coach. I’m sure he’s going to find a way to get them playing a good style of football,” Kaye said.

“Whenever you play these games, no matter how the teams have played the weeks prior leading up to the game you know they’re going to give it their all. It’s going to be interesting to see how they come out against us but now knowing who their coach is I know they’ll have a good plan,” he added.

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