When their final pre-season game started, LAFC was looking to win and then focus on their MLS opener on Sunday. By the time the game ended the team was left wondering how their best player was doing.
Saturday night LAFC took on the Vancouver Whitecaps at home. The game was open to season ticket holders and supporters in what was a “Community Day.”
Supporters were able to purchase the new secondary kits that were unveiled during the day, and the team wore them for the game.
Carlos Vela looked in peak season form as he got the team on the score sheet first just 13 minutes into the game with a low shot that beat Whitecaps goalkeeper Zac MacMath.
LAFC continued to pressure the Whitecaps and forced MacMath to make a few more saves but the score remained 1-0 going into halftime.
LAFC prevented the Whitecaps from even getting a shot on goal, as defender Eddie Segura seemed to be everywhere on the wings and Walker Zimmerman cleaned up the middle of the pitch.
Zimmerman praised Segura’s play stating:
“Eddie does a good job of shifting over to help (on defense)…I like what we’ve seen in pre-season.”
The second half did not start well for LAFC as it looked like Vela took a knock to his leg and had to come out of the game. Vela was able to walk under his own power. Coach Bob Bradley took no chances though and substituted Vela out for Latif Blessing.
In a sign that this really was a pre-season game both teams emptied out their benches and gave players more chances to impress before the new season starts.
The game ended with a 1-0 LAFC win but post-game thoughts were about Vela.
“It’s the knee, he was protecting the ball and got hit…He’s sore and we’ll find out more tomorrow.”
That was all Bradley could say about Vela’s injury for now.
If Vela is out for some time it remains to be seen if Bradley can keep the team focused without their best player and captain.
LAFC fans will have to wait and see whether Sunday’s home opener includes Vela.