UPDATE, Apr. 20 – Carlos Vela and LAFC have reached an agreement over a contract extension, sources tell MLSsoccer.com. FOX Sports’ Doug McIntyre first reported the sides were finalizing an agreement.
Sources add the agreed-upon deal is "at least" through the 2023 season. He will remain a Designated Player. The contracts still need to be signed and made official.
Vela’s current contract was set to expire on June 30, lending speculation to his future and a potential move back to Spain (or to Inter Miami CF).
The 33-year-old has been the face of the club since their inaugural 2018 season and has been among the league’s best players over these five seasons. Vela was named Landon Donovan 2019 MLS MVP after the best individual season in league history, leading LAFC to a Supporters' Shield title. He has 61 goals and 37 assists in 93 regular-season appearances.
After two injury-riddled seasons, Vela has started all seven of LAFC's games in 2022, with four goals and two assists so far. LAFC sit atop the Western Conference at this season's early stage.
ORIGINAL, Apr. 19 – Carlos Vela could be staying at LAFC after all, with Doug McIntyre of FOX Sports reporting Tuesday evening that the club and star forward are close to finalizing a new Designated Player contract.
Vela is out of contract at the Black & Gold come June 30, with his long-term future in MLS a constant topic throughout the 2022 season’s early stages.
But with McIntyre citing a source who said a deal is “as good as done," the 33-year-old Mexican captain could be long for more days at Banc of California Stadium.
Vela joined LAFC as their first-ever DP ahead of their 2018 expansion season, becoming the face of the club after time in Europe at Arsenal (Premier League), Real Sociedad (La Liga) and more.
It’s been a perfect match ever since, with Vela winning Landon Donovan MLS MVP honors in 2019 behind what’s still the greatest statistical season in league history: 34 goals and 15 assists across 31 games.
He was limited by injuries the last two seasons, but has found strong form under first-year boss Steve Cherundolo in 2022 with four goals and two assists in seven matches.