The Los Angeles Football Club announced today that Carlos Vela will join the Club as the first Designated Player in LAFC history. LAFC has reached an agreement with Vela’s current club, Real Sociedad of Spain’s La Liga, that will transfer the Mexican International to LAFC on January 1, 2018. Vela will remain at Real Sociedad for the remainder of 2017.
“This is another momentous day for LAFC,” said LAFC General Manager and Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations John Thorrington. “Carlos is a player who will excite our fans, and who, despite his age, has great experience playing internationally and in the top leagues in the world. He is the exact type and profile of player we have been targeting and couldn’t be more excited to announce him as LAFC’s first-ever Designated Player.”
Vela, 28, has played in the Spanish top division with Real Sociedad since 2011, making over 200 career appearances in all competitions, scoring 72 goals.
“It is very special for me to be the first Designated Player in LAFC history,” Vela said. “I’m honored to be here and to begin my new adventure playing for the people of Los Angeles.”
The Cancun, Mexico native has also been a key contributor to the Mexican National Team, playing in the 2010 World Cup and appearing in 55 career games for Mexico, scoring 11 goals.
“Carlos is an exciting attacking player capable of scoring and setting up goals,” LAFC Head Coach Bob Bradley said. “He has played in big matches with Mexico, in the Premiership and La Liga, and will help establish the style and tempo that we want to build at LAFC.”
Vela signed with Arsenal of the English Premier League in 2005 and appeared with Salamanca (Spain – Segunda Division), Osasuna (Spain – La Liga) and West Bromwich Albion (English Premier League) before transferring officially to Real Sociedad in 2012. Vela was the Real Sociedad Player of the Year in 2011-12 and 2013-14.
“We could not be happier to have Carlos join the club and represent our growing community,” LAFC Lead Managing Owner Larry Berg said.
Vela helped Mexico win the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championship, scoring five goals to lead all scorers and secure the Golden Boot.