The Mexico international was an important figure on Sunday, as he helped El Tri come away with a seismic 1-0 victory over the defending World Cup champions in their Group F opener.
The Los Angeles FC man went 58 minutes in the victory, which was decided by Hirving Lozano’s 35th-minute goal, and received praise after the match from Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio.
“He was one of our best players today,” Osorio told reporters post-match. “If you remember, Carlos was the one who made the last pass for the shots we had, for the chances in the final third, and the idea with him was to give us everything for 60 minutes. He made a very big effort.”
However, Vela’s joy has turned bittersweet as he announced the loss of his grandfather a day after that triumph in Russia, along with confirmation that his loved one did get to see the win.
Posting on Instagram, Vela wrote: "Last victory that you got to see, Grandpa. I hope you were very proud of me.”
Previously, Vela has attributed family as a big reason as to why he has been enjoying soccer more these days with his move to LAFC, giving credit to his partner and their son for their support and helping him focus on the game.
That support has translated on the field as Vela has already scored seven goals and added five assists in just 12 games so far in his debut season for the MLS expansion side.
Mexico is next in action on June 23 against South Korea.