Carlos Vela

How Mexico’s stars are deciding fans’ allegiances in Los Angeles

Carlos Vela tells ESPN FC what it’s like to face Giovani and Jonathan Dos Santos on the pitch in the LA Derby. LAFC forward Carlos Vela is confident his team will make amends for giving up leads in their first two encounters against the LA Galaxy. A sense of anxiety is starting to creep into Javier Ochoa of Covina, California. The nights are becoming more sleepless. The worry and angst increase with each passing day. These are feelings usually reserved for the very biggest of Mexico national team games or a Clasico Nacional between his beloved Chivas de Guadalajara and Club America, yet here is Ochoa fretting over a team that less than a year ago could not even fill out a starting XI. It’s all because it’s Rivalry Week in Los Angeles, and Ochoa is desperate to see LAFC av...

Carlos Vela says his arrival and rivalries like El Trafico can help MLS grow

Carlos Vela tells ESPN FC what it’s like to face Giovani and Jonathan Dos Santos on the pitch in the LA Derby. Zlatan Ibrahimovic may be the man grabbing all the headlines in Los Angeles, but it’s Hollywood’s other soccer star, Mexican forward Carlos Vela, who is becoming the true Man of the Year in the City of Angels. Vela was part of the Mexico national team that surprised the world in Russia, beating Germany in its first match of the World Cup group stage. When he returned to LAFC, he was greeted with the good news of his selection by fans as captain of the MLS All-Star team to face Juventus. The latest edition of MLS Rivalry Week will once again feature sides facing their crosstown foes in a series of derbies, something Vela can fully appreciate, considering his LAFC ...

Carlos Vela: Mexico will give Juan Carlos Osorio full support if he stays on

Sebastian Salazar and Herculez Gomez assess Mexico’s World Cup after a last 16 exit and discuss why Liga MX could be a hindrance on El Tri’s future. Sebi Salazar sounds off on why he can’t be proud of Mexico after a seventh straight World Cup exit in the last 16, even against a team like Brazil. Manager Juan Carlos Osorio’s future with the Mexico remains clouded in mystery a little more than a week following Mexico’s elimination from the 2018 World Cup. It is unclear whether either Osorio or the Mexican federation wants to renew the Colombian’s contract for four more years, but national team standout Carlos Vela says the manager will have the support of the team if he stays on with El Tri. LAFC’s Vela made it clear that his teammates on the nationa...

Ibra, Vela and experience: How LAFC, LA Galaxy built their teams

Paul Mariner and Mark Donaldson square off in predicting the results of some high-profile fixtures ahead of Week 5 in Major League Soccer. The FC crew discuss the impact of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s move to MLS at a time when teams are signing younger players, and why it was important for LA Galaxy to land him. Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s move to LA Galaxy is official, as the Swedish forward introduces himself to Galaxy fans as only he knows how. Just a few miles separate Los Angeles FC and the LA Galaxy, but the roads taken to assemble their respective squads ahead of their first-ever meeting, dubbed “El Trafico” by some fans, this Saturday have been considerably different. For LAFC, there was the massive challenge of starting from scratch. The team’s objective of inking...

Vela can provide Mexico attacking flexibility lost in waning Dos Santos

Mark Donaldson and Kasey Keller look ahead to the World Cup and assess how far Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama are capable of going. When thinking of a utility attacking player for Mexico, Giovani dos Santos was once the name that usually came to mind for El Tri supporters. Whether it be as a winger or a central attacking midfielder, there was a time when the Barcelona product had no problems taking charge of his national team. This was around a time when Dos Santos was clinching unforgettable moments, such as his breathtaking strike against the Netherlands in the 2014 World Cup or the incredible goal against the United States in the 2011 Gold Cup final. Unfortunately for fans of El Tri, those days don’t appear to be returning at any point soon. In the past several months, Dos Santos h...

Carlos Vela: LAFC looking good but still has plenty to improve

Carlos Vela joins the FC crew to talk about leaving Europe to join MLS expansion team LAFC, the brewing rivalry with LA Galaxy and Mexico’s World Cup outlook. With several MLS stars set to line up for new clubs in 2018, check out some of the most notable trades of the offseason. LOS ANGELES — LAFC attacker Carlos Vela feels his new club is “in a good way” but acknowledged that there is still much work to be done ahead of the team’s inaugural season. Vela scored twice in LAFC’s 4-4 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday as the expansion team came back from a two-goal halftime deficit. The Mexico international opened the scoring in the third minute with a sparkling free kick, and then added a second half penalty. Vela played mostly as a No. 10 behind ...

Mexico omissions from ESPN FC 100 puzzling because the talent is there

The FC 100 is here! Take a look at who ranks at the top of each position. The FC 100 is here! Take a look at who ranks at the top of each position. LOS ANGELES, Calif. — It’s a survey that ended without a single Mexico player. ESPN FC voted for and ranked the world’s 100 best players but found no place for El Tri. Why were the members of a national team that qualified for the World Cup not taken into account, while others that could not lead their own countries to Russia 2018, like Arjen Robben, Leonardo Bonucci and Gianluigi Buffon, were included? Or is it because Mexico qualified from CONCACAF, a geographical area that was once defined by Joseph Blatter as “Soccer’s Third World?” Do the players that made Mexico one of the top 16 teams in FIFA’s r...

Chivas couldn’t compete with ‘economic power of MLS’ in Vela deal

LAFC’s first designated player, Carlos Vela, says the up-and-coming club’s appeal enticed his long-contemplated move to MLS. Chicharito defends Carlos Vela and Jonathan dos Santos following questioning from Mexican media on their moves to MLS. Liga MX champions Chivas were outbid by incoming MLS outfit Los Angeles FC for Mexico international Carlos Vela, according to club CEO Jose Luis Higuera. Current Real Sociedad forward Vela signed for LAFC in August and will join the team in the new year ahead of its debut 2018 season, but Chivas were also in the hunt for the 28-year-old. Higuera stated on ESPN’s Futbol Picante on Monday that a deal to bring Vela to the Guadalajara club had been “very close.” “We made contact with Vela and we were very close, but if...

Dos Santos, Vela’s stars wane after shining as Mexico youth internationals

Carlos Vela, left, and Giovani dos Santos, right, have waned after their stars shone brightly as Mexico youth internationals. There was a time when Carlos Vela and Giovani dos Santos had Mexico’s million-dollar smiles. They represented a new beginning for Mexican football, as they lifted the country’s first Under-17 World Cup in 2005. The way they crushed teams like the Netherlands, Uruguay and Brazil created an enormous hope that they were going to be the chosen ones to command Mexico’s attack for years to come. The amount of fame that they had to take in at such an early age was unprecedented; a wave of accolades that few youngsters can adequately process. Right away, Vela and Dos Santos were put in settings that were way bigger than they had anticipated: first-team foo...