Fair to say, the Mexican international has delivered on that promise through two magical seasons in Major League Soccer.
Vela recounted the moment he arrived in LA on the latest “Shootin’ The Shot” podcast.
“I was excited because I was feeling like ‘I’m the first one so I will try to make something special,” Vela said. “I want to make something, this is Carlos Vela and I want to put everything on me to create something cool.”
Vela has done just that, breaking the league’s single-season scoring record a year ago with 34 goals to lead LAFC to the Supporters’ Shield.
Including his two goals in two games this season, Vela has scored 50 goals in 61 regular season games since his arrival.
Co-host and teammate Jordan Harvey put Vela on the spot with a game of “Start, Bench and Cut,” among three major cities Vela has played in — Los Angeles, London and San Sebastian, home of La Liga’s Real Sociedad.
“For sure, cut London,” Vela said.
“It was hard, a hard moment for me — different culture, a different language, no friends there,” he added. “I wake up and it was dark. I came back from training, it was dark. I take a lunch and it was dark. I can continue like that all day.”
The highlight of his time in London was weekly trips to a Mexican restaurant with El Tri teammate Giovani dos Santos, who was at Tottenham Hotspur at the time.
“Every Thursday we would go to the same place, the same Mexican restaurant,” Vela said. “We’d have our food, some drink and back to sleep. It was the best day of the week.”
He chose San Sebastian over L.A. because “my family is from St. Sebastian so that’s the biggest impact in my life. I love this city, but I love more my family. It was easy to decide.”