After missing the past two months with a knee injury, reigning MLS MVP Carlos Vela is expected to return to the field for Los Angeles FC on Sunday in a rivalry matchup with the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Vela, who has been dealing with an MLC strain, will pick up right where he left off, so to speak, since the injury occurred in an Aug. 22 game against the Galaxy.
Vela started and played just 57 minutes in the 2-0 defeat to the Galaxy. It was his first game after he opted out of playing in the MLS is Back Tournament near Orlando. It means the 31-year-old Mexico international has played in just three games this season, scoring two goals.
Any action he sees Sunday likely will be off the bench, according to head coach Bob Bradley.
Vela won the league's MVP award last season after he scored 34 goals in 31 games. LAFC had a league-best 21-4-9 record (72 points) in the 2019 regular season but were eliminated from the playoffs in the Western Conference Finals in a 3-1 defeat to the Seattle Sounders, who went on to win the MLS Cup Final.
Vela is in his third season with LAFC, scoring 50 goals in 62 games (60 starts) with 28 assists. LAFC is 7-7-4 (25 points) this season and in fourth place in the Western Conference heading into play Saturday. The team leads MLS with 40 goals scored.
--Field Level Media