The status of the injured attacker was the first question to be raised on Bob Bradley's Thursday video call, and the LAFC coach was non-committal regarding whether Vela would feature in the contest, but did leave open the possibility.
"Carlos is doing a little bit [in training], which is always important for all of us," Bradley said, before adding: "Carlos' situation will still be looked at and we'll make a decision."
If Vela can't go, it would take some of the star power out a matchup that would pit him against fellow Mexico international and Galaxy counterpart Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez. Still, these are the type of games that carry added meaning and intensity regardless of who's on the field, which is something Bradley said his team is going to be ready for.
"The starting point in all these games is making sure everybody understands that the intensity level in derbies is very high and that now our ability to play quickly, think quickly, we certainly go into games trying to find ways to create chances, trying to find ways to control as many situations both in attack and in defense as possible," Bradley said. "And if you do that well, then you don't give away much."
As for Hernandez, Bradley said he's definitely noticed a ripple effect from the star striker on the whole Galaxy group in their first year under new head coach Greg Vanney. Hernandez tied an MLS record with five goals in LA's first two games of the season before being held off the scoresheet in their last match against the Seattle Sounders.
"I think he started the season fresh with a good mindset, and obviously the first two games, dangerous," Bradley said of Chicharito. "His ability in the box is still what sets him apart from many other strikers. And so, as I mentioned, Greg understands that, the team understands that, and you get a sense that the whole group is excited that he's fitter and in a good frame of mind because they know how important he could be moving forward this season.
"There have certainly been [El Trafico] games where the game's opened up. I believe this game will be interesting and maybe a little different because I think Greg's ideas are different than some of the managers they've had before. It's different when Chicharito is your [number] 9 versus when Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] is your 9. But what doesn't change is how much it means to the fans and how the intensity level will be very, very high."