Carlos Vela Makes LAFC Debut in Preseason Draw - NBC Southern California
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Carlos Vela Makes LAFC Debut in Preseason Draw

"Obviously I'm not at my best level physically, but I'm working to get there," he said.



    Carlos Vela Makes LAFC Debut

    Mexican forward Carlos Vela made his debut with Los Angeles Football Club, playing the entire second half, against New York City FC on Feb. 9, 2018. (Published Monday, Feb. 12, 2018)

    Los Angeles Football Club forward Marco Urena opened the scoring in the 16th minute Friday as the Major League Soccer expansion team tied New York City FC, 1-1, in its second preseason game.

    NYCFC tied the score in the 56th-minute of the 90-minute game at UCLA's North Athletic Field on an unassisted goal by Finnish midfielder Alexander Ring.

    Mexican national team forward Carlos Vela made his debut with LAFC, playing the entire second half.

    He missed the team's first preseason game, a 2- 2 tie with MLS Cup champion Toronto FC last Friday because he played all 90 minutes in Mexico's 1-0 victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina two days earlier in an exhibition in San Antonio.

    "It's the first game I've played with my teammates," Vela said after the game. "Obviously, we still need to know each other more."

    Photos: See Inside LAFC's New StadiumPhotos: See Inside LAFC's New Stadium

    The striker almost put his team ahead in the second half, but his effort bounced off the post to deny the lead. "Obviously I'm not at my best level physically, but I'm working to get there," he said. "I think there's still time until the season starts and for there to not be excuses for anything. At the start of the season I will arrive at my best form physically and after that (it's about) enjoying and doing the things I know how to do."

    Urena, LAFC's third choice in the expansion draft who played for Costa Rica in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, scored both the team's goals against Toronto FC.

    NYCFC led in shots, 10-6, including a 5-2 advantage in the second half. Both teams took three shots on goal.

    Tyler Miller, LAFC's first choice in the expansion draft after playing two MLS games for Seattle Sounders FC the past two seasons, made two saves, both in the first half. NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson made one save in the first 61 minutes. Jeff Caldwell did not make a save in the final 29.

    "Today's a good game for us, very different than Toronto," LAFC coach Bob Bradley said. "It was more physical. I think for our players to get adjusted to the fact that at times in the league, that's the way games are is really important.

    "Some stretches where I think the football's OK, other stretches where things are going fast and hard we're not always confident enough to play at the speed we need."

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