Headline is Carlos Vela’s option picked up.
LAFC publicly revealed their initial roster decisions for the 2022 season on Wednesday, after being required to submit those to MLS a day earlier. The big news is unquestionably the club picking up the 2022 contract option on forward Carlos Vela.
Vela had spoken openly about the possibility of leaving the club this offseason, while the club had insisted throughout the year they held this contract option. While exercising the option doesn’t necessarily mean the story is over, if Vela truly wants out, technically at this point it looks like Vela will be back for a fifth season with the black-and-gold.
In addition, LAFC have picked up contract options on Eduard Atuesta, Danny Musovski, Bryce Duke and Sebastien Ibeagha for 2022.
Meanwhile, the club has declined contract options on Jamal Blackman, Danny Crisostomo, and Alvaro Quezada.
Jordan Harvey and Raheem Edwards are out of contract and MLS Free Agents, while Pablo Sisniega is out of contract. Michee Ngalina’s loan from Colorado Springs Switchbacks ends and he will leave LAFC.
All told, LAFC have 25 players under contract for 2022 at this point, meaning there isn’t a ton of room to maneuver in the offseason. That also doesn’t include Diego Rossi, who is presumed to be gone permanently to Fenerbahçe but that is not official as of yet. There’s a large group of defenders and forwards among the 25 players listed, but only one goalkeeper (Tomas Romero) and just five midfielders listed, so those spots will need reinforcements.
Obviously, we’ll have to see who will be the next head coach and how they will play, since that’s pretty important in determining squad needs. Perhaps the next coach will play a 5-4-1 (please soccer gods, no) and that will change the roster needs a lot. Stay tuned.
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