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Report: MVP Vela opting out of MLS is Back tourney

Reigning league MVP Carlos Vela will not accompany Los Angeles FC on Monday when the team flies to Florida for the upcoming MLS is Back tournament, the Los Angeles Times reported.

As previously reported last week by ESPN, the 31-year-old forward has decided to remain home with his pregnant wife, Saioa, and the couple’s 3-year-old son, Romeo.

The five-week tournament starts Wednesday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando. MLS gave players the opportunity to skip the event for health or family reasons.

Vela, the LAFC captain and the team’s highest-paid player at $6.3 million for 2019, is the highest-profile player to opt out.

Vela broke the MLS single-season scoring record with 34 goals in 31 games last season while leading LAFC to the Supporters’ Shield. In his first season with LAFC in 2018, the Mexican international recorded 14 goals and 13 assists in 28 games (26 starts).

LAFC had one win and one tie when the MLS season was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Vela had scored two goals.

LAFC are scheduled to open MLS is Back play in Group F against the Houston Dynamo on July 13. The other two teams in the group are the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Portland Timbers.

–Field Level Media

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