LAFC announced today that forward and reigning MLS MVP Carlos Vela has obtained his U.S. green card and will no longer occupy an international slot on the Club’s roster.
Vela scored his first goal of the campaign during the 2020 MLS season opener – a 1-0 victory over expansion side Inter Miami CF on Sunday, March 1 at Banc of California Stadium. The 31-year-old forward also notched a brace in the 3-0 win over Club León during the second leg of the Round of 16 of the Concacaf Champions League matchup on February 27.
Last year, Vela was crowned the 2019 Landon Donovan MLS MVP after a record-breaking regular season in which he set a new league-high of 34 goals in 31 games, and a 1.12 goals-per-game average that ranks first in MLS history among players with at least 15 goals in a single campaign. His combined 49 goals and assists (34 goals, 15 assists) also established yet another new league milestone.
The two-time MLS Best XI selection and MLS All-Star Game captain helped LAFC capture the Supporters’ Shield and top seed in the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs, as the Club set a new all-time points record (72 points), posted the highest-ever goal differential (+48), and tied the single-season team scoring record (85).
Since joining LAFC as the first Designated Player in Club history, Vela has tallied 49 goals and 28 assists in 60 regular season contests, and a pair of goals during the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs.
LAFC returns to league action on Sunday, March 8 as the Club hosts the Philadelphia Union at Banc of California Stadium (7:30 p.m. PT; FS1, 710 AM ESPN, 980 AM). The Black & Gold will then take on Liga MX side Cruz Azul in the Quarterfinals of the Concacaf Champions League, with Leg 1 taking place on March 12 at Banc of California Stadium and Leg 2 on March 18 at Estadio Azteca.