MLS

Carlos Vela will not play in the MLS is Back tournament

The MVP and Captain of LAFC will not join the rest of the team in Orlando, Florida because he chose to opt out due to "health and family" reasons.

Carlos Vela will not play in the MLS is Back tournament

Los Angeles Football Club travelled on Monday to Orlando, Florida ahead of their debut in the 'MLS is Back' tournament against Houston Dynamo. The bad news is that Major League Soccer's current MVP, Carlos Vela, will not make the trip with the rest of the team.

According to Los Angeles Times, who cited a source within the team, the news was confirmed that had been circulating for a couple of days now. The 31-year-old has decided to stay in Los Angeles, California, because his wife is pregnant and for health reasons he chose not to play.

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!" said Carlos Vela in a statement.

Prior to the beginning of the tournament LAFC was one of the favorites to win it all and obtain their second trophy of their history. But now without the team’s leading scorer (34) and assist generator (15) last season, breaking the MLS records, LAFC’s odds have decreased.

The MLS gave players the option to opt out of the mini tournament, which starts 8 July, for 'health or family reasons'. Carlos Vela, captain of LAFC, is the first Designated Player who chose not to play in the MLS is Back tournament. He is the 4th best paid player in the league ($6.3 million in 2019).

LAFC is the top seed of group H and will play their first game on Saturday 13 July, then they will face LA Galaxy on 18 July and they will play their last game of the group against Portland on 23 July.