Carlos Vela has quite possibly the weirdest contract situation in MLS, a league full of rather weird contracts, and so far, no resolution to the major question hanging over LAFC’s season.

Vela is out of contract on June 30, which is just over two weeks away! LAFC’s leading scorer and captain is on the verge of leaving the club in the middle of the season. Letting a team’s best player walk in the middle of an MLS season, absent a major transfer windfall, is pretty much unprecedented.

Of course, it’s possible he won’t be going anywhere, a new contract will be signed any minute now and announced, and the situation will be resolved. But it’s possible he walks out the door and doesn’t come back. For a team that still relies on him quite heavily and without any murmurings of a concrete move abroad, what in the world is happening.
Vela has said repeatedly he wants to stay in Los Angeles, and in English-language answers, has said more than once he’s waiting for the contract. At this point, it looks like he’s not waiting for any offer at all, but rather the right contract that will get him to re-sign.
Opinion seems to have soured to an extent on Vela, which is strange in a few ways. In 2020 and 2021 he dealt with a lot of injuries, and look, those happen. For those mad that Vela isn’t scoring 1.2 goals per game across a whole season anymore, I would say that 2019 was a pinnacle year, one that won’t be repeated. Does that mean he no longer holds value? Of course not. But that MVP season was the best in league history, and the cliché about regression to the mean holds particular sway here. Even so, I would argue “baseline good” Vela is still a player worth having on LAFC.