Vela introduced as Los Angeles FC's first player

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Mexico international Carlos Vela has been introduced as Los Angeles Football Club's first designated player ahead of their Major League Soccer debut next year.

The 28-year-old was approached to join the expansion franchise several weeks ago, and he has now admitted his surprise at being the first player in the squad.

Los Angeles FC are yet to have a uniform or a completed stadium, but the Real Sociedad attacker feels excited by the new challenge of having to build a team around him, he said: "It's crazy and it's strange. It's like, 'OK, I can play alone if you want.' I'm the first. You feel like they're building the team around you. I feel cool, you know? I think it was the right moment to come here, because the ambition of this team is very good," Vela said.

"The people make me feel like this is my club, like I am important, and I want to be an important player. I hope I can be one of the best players in the league."

With the stadium still under construction, the Mexican forward was presented a T-shirt with his name on it from owner Will Ferrell while standing under the Space Shuttle Endeavour inside the California Space Center - which is just across the park from the club's new home-ground which will be ready by March - though tickets are already available on www.livefootballtickets.com.

Meanwhile, manager Bob Bradley was also pleased to have Vela as his first signing as it gives an example of how the club would like to proceed in their inaugural Major League Soccer season next term.

The 28-year-old has been a key contributor for Real Sociedad over the past six seasons with 72 goals and 41 assists in all competitions, but they eventually decided to cash in on the attacker with his contract due to expire next summer. Vela will link up with new expansion franchise at the turn of the year.