Carlos Vela confirmed he will remain with LAFC for the time being.
After months of uncertainty and days away from free agency, the Designated Player revealed he re-signed with the Western Conference club.
“It was a matter of time. I don’t want to leave until I win a title. Hopefully this year,” he said in an interview with ESPN before the match vs the New York Red Bulls.
Vela has been instrumental in LAFC’s success since joining in 2018 from Real Sociedad as their first ever Desginated Player, managing 63 goals and 39 assists in 101 overall appearances for the club so far. It took Vela little time to get acclimated to the league, earning the MLS MVP and MLS Golden boot award in his second season for a record-breaking 34 goals in leading the team to the Supporters’ Shield.
Though his 2020 and 2021 were plagued by injury, he continues to lead the team in goals and assists.
LAFC co-president and general manager John Thorrington hailed the player for his involvement with the team, celebrating the contract extension.
“Carlos and LAFC have had and continue to have a phenomenal relationship. I think things that get released, snippets here and there, don’t entirely illustrate the picture of our relationship from day one,” Thorrington emphasized on Sunday.
“Carlos has been the best player in the league when he’s healthy, certainly a phenomenal player for LAFC, and I think for Carlos and his desire to win, he sees the importance of adding these pieces again to help with what we already have and then to add their quality and experience as well.”
LAFC head coach Steve Cherundolo echoed that sentiment, saying: “We’re very happy that he decided to stay, and it was very much expected that he was going to stay from our perspective.”
The Designated Player celebrated the confirmation of his contract extension with an assist against the New York Red Bulls, connecting with Chicho Arango in the second half to manage the game’s first goal and propel the team to the top of the Supporters’ Shield standings.
Though the team already leads the Western Conference, LAFC will be unstoppable in the second half of the season with Giorgio Chiellini and Gareth Bale joining Vela.
“[They’re] world-class players that any team would like to have in their squads,” Ilie Sanchez remarked. “Very happy with the two additions; I think that they’re gonna bring the difference on and off the field. And, again, also with the re-signing of Carlos, I think that we have three veteran players that can lead this team into bigger things at the end of the season.”