Los Angeles FC has officially announced Carlos Vela as the team's first designated player.
The Mexico international joins from Real Sociedad of Spain’s La Liga, where he will remain through 2018.
— LAFC (@LAFC) August 9, 2017
“It is very special for me to be the first Designated Player in LAFC history,” Vela said on the club's website. “I’m honored to be here and to begin my new adventure playing for the people of Los Angeles.”
A constant threat as an attacking player, Vela brings with him experience at the top level of play both in Europe and on the international stage.
"This is another momentous day for LAFC,” said LAFC general manager John Thorrington in a statement announcing the signing. “Carlos is a player who will excite our fans, and who, despite his age, has great experience playing internationally and in the top leagues in the world. He is the exact type and profile of player we have been targeting and couldn’t be more excited to announce him as LAFC’s first-ever designated player.”
Vela came up through the youth ranks at Chivas Guadalajara before joining Arsenal in 2005. However the forward would only appear 29 times for the Gunners, and endured extended loan spells with Salamanca, Osasuna and West Bromwich Albion.
Having already landed former United States national team manager Bob Bradley as the team's first coach, LAFC's addition of Vela is a major step for a club that has also been linked with Andres Guardado and Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez.