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Carlos Vela on adjusting to a ‘new role’ at LAFC

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Carlos Vela has become a staple for LAFC. 

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The player first arrived in 2018, serving qw the face of Major League Soccer’s newest expansion team. He carried LAFC to third place on the Western Conference table during their debut campaign with 14 goals and 13 assists, failing to succumb to the pressure at hand. 

His second year saw a whole different player. In 2019, Vela broke the record for most goals and assists by one player in a season with 34 and 15 to win the Golden Boot and MLS MVP awards. His efforts also propelled LAFC to lift the Supporters Shield, their first ever trophy.

Though the following two seasons saw Vela plagued by recurring injuries, the player is now back to his goal scoring ways as LAFC remains en route to win their second Supporters Shield. But it wasn’t always easy adjusting to a new role.

“I had to learn to have a new type of role. I had always played with those who had more experience, and followed the leaders within the team. But in this case, I came to a league with young players and a team that had just been started,” he said exclusively to 90min

“And as a player with a lot of experience, I had to contribute with that experience, and help the young players to get better, sometimes even yell at them when needed. I had to play that father figure to players, and it’s something that I hadn’t experienced before. I’m still learning to play that role but it’s one I have to do.”

The LAFC captain continues to lead on and off the pitch, as teammates look to him as a reference point. But new additions Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini have made Vela’s job easier, as he explains the impact of each signing. 

“Both arrived with a great attitude, relaxed and ready to talk to everyone. Obviously on the pitch we know how good they are, it was not a surprise. But beyond that, we are really happy with what they can contribute and are contributing.”

With only eight games left to be played, LAFC are en route to break their own 2019 record and lift their second Supporters Shield with Vela as captain.

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