As the LAFC season begins, the question has to be asked.
Can Carlos Vela do it again?
After posting an incredible season in 2019, Vela and LAFC look to claim the one thing that has eluded them to this point in their existence: the MLS Championship. For Vela specifically, 2019 was a year to remember. He finished with 34 goals and 15 assists and was completely dominant. Some of his dominance was due in part to his ability to stay relatively healthy for most of the year. This year, Vela and LAFC start the year out with a different look. Gone are Tyler Miller, Lee Nguyen and key defender Walker Zimmerman, but while they are gone, some new signings have replenished the ranks. Below are two big reasons why Carlos Vela could—no, will—win the MVP award again.
If everything goes right, the signing of Bradley Wright-Philips will tremendously benefit Carlos Vela. It allows Vela to play out on the wing (his best position) and gives him a great target man with a proven track record for scoring goals in the MLS. Wright-Philips has had some injury concerns and certainly isn’t getting any younger, but fortunately, he doesn’t need to play every day. Between Adama Diomande and Wright-Philips, Vela has options to help his assist numbers.
After the Leon game, many will have written off the young Uruguayan winger. Not so fast. Rodriguez definitely did struggle against Leon, missing a few easy opportunities and turning the ball over way to many times. That being said, He has shown flashes at times throughout his stint with LAFC. He has shown the ability to beat defenders off the dribble multiple times. He has also shown the ability to be in the right place at the right time. This biggest thing that’s missing for Rodriguez is his finishing. The best bet? He improves that this year and that turns into both assists and easy goals for Carlos Vela.