LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles FC has picked up its short-term contract option on former MLS Most Valuable Player Carlos Vela.
Vela's option extends to next summer. LAFC said it also exercised its options on forward Danny Musovski and midfielder Eduard Atuesta on Wednesday.
Vela was the first player signed by expansion LAFC, and the Mexican forward had one of the most dominant seasons in MLS history in 2019. He scored a record 34 goals and 49 points while LAFC won the Supporters' Shield with the league's best regular season record.
But injuries have dramatically limited Vela's effectiveness in the past two seasons. He scored only four goals while appearing in just seven games during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, and he made only 15 starts for LAFC this year, scoring a meager five goals.
Vela will turn 33 in March.
LAFC's decision to keep Vela is a mild surprise, although the former Real Sociedad star still could leave in the January transfer window. The club is undergoing a significant reboot after missing the playoffs last month for the first time in their existence, most notably parting ways with original coach Bob Bradley.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports