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Vela heading to MLS

Los Angeles (AFP) – Mexico striker Carlos Vela has signed for Major League Soccer expansion side Los Angeles FC and will join from Real Sociedad in January next year, it was confirmed Wednesday.

LAFC, who will make their MLS debut in 2018, said in a statement that Vela’s arrival would generate excitement around the club heading into the new season. 

“This is another momentous day for LAFC,” LAFC General Manager John Thorrington said. 

“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, said he was “honored” and looking forward to beginning “my new adventure playing for the people of Los Angeles.”

Vela’s signing comes after the club confirmed last month that former USA coach Bob Bradley would lead the team into its first MLS campaign.

Bradley welcomed Vela’s arrival.

“Carlos is an exciting attacking player capable of scoring and setting up goals,” Bradley said of the player who played for Arsenal before moving to Spain. 

“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.”

With Los Angeles Galaxy suffering a protracted slump, LAFC are determined to hit the ground running as they aim to establish themselves as the city’s pre-eminent club.

The club’s home will be a new 22,000-seat venue close to the city’s downtown, giving the team a geographical edge as they vie for supporters against the Galaxy. 

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