Double blow for LAFC as Carlos Vela suffers injury in El Trafico derby

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The first game Carlos Vela played in five months ended early on Saturday afternoon, with the Mexican superstar picking up an injury just before the hour mark that forced him off the field in LAFC’s El Trafico showdown with the LA Galaxy. Vela pulled up with the non-contact injury in the 57th minute, as he received a short pass while moving slowly down the right flank. The loss ended LAFC’s 11-game regular-season unbeaten streak dating back to 2019.

Carlos Vela

The injury, and subsequent substitution for Adrien Perez, came right after the Galaxy took a 2-0 lead through Sebastian Lletget.”We’ll need at least a day or two to fully assess, but just before that play he took a shot, the shot was blocked,” LAFC coach Bob Bradley said after the game. “So, that is usually an MCL-type situation so that’s what we will look at in the next day or two.”

It’s great to have him back, but when I said we didn’t have any who played well today, Carlos didn’t play well at all today. He wasn’t active, he wasn’t dangerous, he looked like someone who hadn’t played a game in a long time.”

That likely will keep Vela, the league’s reigning MVP, out of Wednesday’s game with Real Salt Lake — and could sideline him much longer. But even before the injury, Carlos Vela wasn’t much of a factor with the Galaxy holding him to one shot and 17 passes.

Vela left the game in the 58th minute with what appeared to be a left leg injury, ending his streak of 11 consecutive MLS games with a goal. It was the second-longest goal-scoring streak in MLS history. Atlanta United FC’s Josef Martinez scored a goal in 15 consecutive regular-season games. Martinez himself is currently facing a long time out on the sidelines. Without two of MLS’ biggest stars going forward, it will be interesting to see which players step up and dominate the league.