While various athletes are choosing to sit out of their respective sports due to COVID-19 concerns, MLS players have it a bit different. MLS players can only sit out of the MLS is Back tournament if they or a family member has a health issue that puts them in the high risk category.
That’s what happened with Mexican soccer superstar Carlos Vela as Kevin Baxter of the LA Times revealed that the defending Golden Boot winner will sit out of the Orlando tournament to be with his pregnant wife.
While LAFC declined to comment, Vela was not on LAFC’s charter flight to Orlando, as six FC Dallas players were positive for COVID-19 last week. In MLS’ latest round of testing, there were just two positive tests in 1,191 total tests. FC Dallas’ first game, set to take place Thursday, has been postponed
Javier “Chicharito” Hernández, Mexican soccer superstar of rival LA Galaxy, also has a pregnant wife but he will be in Orlando for the tournament. Both teams play their first game next Monday.
Obviously, not having Vela in Orlando hurts in terms of “star power” as well as LAFC’s chances to win, but he’s got to do what he feels is best for his family. the MLS is Back tournament starts on Wednesday.