That thing you heard about MLS MVP Carlos Vela opting out of the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando? It’s devastatingly true.
Though the news still comes as a bit of a shock, LAFC have long expected that he would make this decision due to the fact that Vela’s wife is pregnant. Major League Soccer is conducting the MLS is Back Tournament in something of a bubble on the Walt Disney Resort campus. As such, they are not permitting family and friends to enter or stay inside with the hope of protecting players and personnel from potentially being exposed to the coronavirus.
Carlos Vela opting out of the MLS is Back Tournament will certainly be a major blow to LAFC. As the reigning MLS MVP, Carlos Vela is already a legendary figure in Major League Soccer. In only his first two seasons, Vela tallied 51 goals and 29 assists. His 2019 stats alone would decorate most players’ full careers.
Carlos Vela 2019 MLS MVP
- 34 goals (1st all-time)
- 25 goals from open play (1st all-time)
- 9 penalty goals (1st)
- 15 assists (3rd)
- 160 shots (1st)
- 71 shots on goal (1st)
- 1.12 goals-per-game average (1st all-time)
- MLS All-Star Game Captain (2nd consecutive year)
- 3x MLS Player of the Month
- 7x MLS Player of the Week
- 17x MLS Team of the Week
LAFC Coach Bob Bradley acknowledged the challenge presented by Carlos Vela opting out of the MLS is Back Tournament, but said the team had been preparing for this possibility.
“Certainly Carlos is an important player, but the way we train and the way we prepare is to be a good team when Carlos isn’t on the field and we’ve had some moments where I think that’s been the case,” Bradley said. “We train in different ways everyday, mix up line-ups, make sure guys get used to playing with different people, so the mindset is what I said earlier: we stand behind Carlos, it’s important for him to be with his family and now [comes] the challenge of getting back onto the field after a long layoff.”
Statements on Carlos Vela opting out of the MLS is Back Tournament
“I would like nothing more than to be with my teammates in Orlando. I always want to give everything I have to my Club, our fans and supporters and the city of L.A. However, it is in the best interest of the health of my family to stay home and be with my wife during what is a risky pregnancy. I will miss being with my teammates and coaches, but I will be cheering and supporting LAFC from a distance. I can’t wait to be back on the field, playing for all of you and accomplishing great things with our Club. Vamos LAFC!”
“Nada me gustaría más que estar con mis compañeros en Orlando. Yo siempre quiero dar lo mejor de mí para el Club, nuestra afición y la ciudad de Los Ángeles. Sin embargo, he decidido que lo más importante para la salud de mi familia es que me quede en casa durante un embarazo complicado para mi esposa. Voy a extrañar al grupo pero los estaré apoyando desde la distancia y los espero con el trofeo de vuelta en casa. Pronto llegará el día en el que podamos estar juntos nuevamente y seguir logrando cosas importantes para nuestro Club. ¡Vamos LAFC!”
From LAFC Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations and General Manager John Thorrington:
“LAFC fully supports and respects the difficult decision Carlos and his family have made to not participate in the MLS Is Back Tournament. We have had numerous conversations with Carlos throughout this process and understand his unique situation and the importance of Carlos being home with his family at this time. We appreciate the support from the league, and we look forward to having Carlos re-join the Club when we return from Orlando and begin moving forward with the rest of the season.”
“LAFC apoya y respeta plenamente la decisión que Carlos y su familia han tomado de no participar en el Torneo MLS is Back. Hemos tenido varias conversaciones con Carlos durante este proceso y entendemos su situación y la importancia de que se quede en casa con su familia. Apreciamos el apoyo de la liga, y esperamos contar con Carlos al regresar de Orlando para disputar el resto de la temporada”.
The MLS is Back Tournament kicks off in Orlando on July 8.