Carlos Vela has been voted the Major League Soccer Player of the Week for the first week of the 2022 MLS season. Midfielder Ilie Sánchez has also been named to the MLS Team of the Week for Week 1 after a stellar LAFC debut.

Vela began the 2022 season in record fashion, becoming just the fifth player in MLS history to register a hat trick in a season-opening match, scoring all three LAFC goals en route to a 3-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids at Banc of California Stadium. Vela’s hat trick was the third of his LAFC career and helped propel the Black & Gold to their fifth consecutive season-opening victory.

All three goals were scored in a 21-minute span and prior to the 50th minute of the match. Vela opened the scoring in the 29th minute, burying a penalty kick, and completed his first-half brace with a breakaway goal in the 35th minute. He completed his hat with a strong strike off his left, curling to the far post in the 50th minute, recording his 60th MLS regular season goal.
LAFC is back in action on Sunday, March 6, as they welcome the Portland Timbers to Banc of California Stadium to close out the MLS Week 2 slate. Sunday’s contest will be broadcast live on TV on FS1, FOX Deportes (SPA) and on radio on 710 AM ESPN, and 980 am La MeraMera.
The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season through both media and fan voting in a process conducted by MLS Communications. A panel of journalists from the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) comprises 75 percent of the vote, while a Twitter fan vote represents the remaining 25 percent of voting. NASR consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.