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LAFC without Carlos Vela for RSL game

The star’s injury lingers.

MLS: Los Angeles FC at San Jose Earthquakes Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

It’s almost funny, in a painfully sad way, to look back on the first match of the season. The sudden drama that sparked when Carlos Vela was brought off, seemingly against his wishes, when he appeared to pick up a knock.

Analysis was made over hand signals and head nods. Speculation swirled over the relationship between coach and player. In the end, it proved to be more serious than anyone had initially presumed, and it's an issue that continues to hang over LAFC like a dark cloud.

Addressing the media ahead of their match against Real Salt Lake this Sunday, Head Coach Bob Bradley revealed, “Carlos was not in training.” He went on to say that it would “take more time” before he resumes soccer activities. There is never a good time for injury, but to lose one of your best players in the midst of battling for a playoff spot, this late in the season, is a big blow.

It wasn't all doom and gloom, however. Defender Kim Moon-Hwan, has returned to training, with the team expecting Jose Cifuentes and Diego Palacios to return Friday evening after their respective time out for International duty.

The better news has to be the improved mood around the team. After their longest winless streak ever, LAFC returned to the win column in a big way, beating Sporting KC 4-0 at home. With the team more upbeat, and a chance to get level on points with RSL for the final playoff spot in the West, stocks are still trending upward for the black and gold.

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