Carlos Vela opts out of MLS is Back Tournament citing personal reasons
Los Angeles FC have confirmed that Carlos Vela won’t take any part in the upcoming MLS is Back Tournament after he decided to stay home due to personal reasons.
The Mexico international has been the standout performer for the Western Conference club since their inception into Major League Soccer in 2018 and he has registered 57 goals and 23 assists from just 71 outings.
He was in sensational form during the previous league campaign with 34 goals and 10 assists from 31 appearances and he helped the club win the Supporters’ Shield while being named the MVP.
As a result, he remain a vital cog in the club’s attack, but he has decided against travelling with the squad for the MLS is Back Tournament citing his family situation amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I would like nothing more than to be with my teammates in Orlando. 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,” Vela said in a statement released by the club.
In the 2019 MLS regular season, Vela contributed to 40 percent of the Los Angeles’ goal tally while he was also involved in assisting his teammates on 10 occasions.
His absence is definitely a big blow for the California-based outfit and the likes of Diego Rossi and Adama Diomande will need to be at their best to ensure that the club can make a strong case to win the tournament.
Rossi was LAFC’s second best attacker during the previous campaign. The Uruguay international registered 18 goals and nine assists from 39 appearances across all competitions.
Meanwhile, FC Dallas’ withdrawal from the tournament was recently confirmed after 10 players and one coach tested positive for COVID-19 in the bio-secure environment over the past week.
As things stand, Group A includes six teams while Group C, D, E and F have four teams apiece. With Dallas’ exclusion, there are only three clubs competing in Group B and it remains to be seen whether any side from Group A is drawn alongside them.
Orlando City and Inter Miami will play the opening game of the MLS is Back Tournament at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex tonight. It will be the first Florida derby in the MLS since 2002 when Miami Fusion and Tampa Bay Mutiny faced each other.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com