Carlos Vela played in a World Cup for Mexico and has spent his career in clubs in England, Spain and the United States, but the LAFC striker sounded more like the German sergeant. Schultz, of the heroes of Hogan, became famous when asked if he had spoken with fellow Mexican star Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez about signing with the Galaxy.
"I can't say anything," Vela said, causing laughter after the first practice of the 2020 LAFC training camp on Monday. "But yes, we have spoken."
Vela, 30, scored 34 record goals in the league to win the most valuable MLS player honors last season, leading LAFC to a 21-4-9 record before a loss to Seattle in the final of The Western Conference.
Hernandez, 31, is the top scorer of all time in Mexico, whose Spanish club team, Sevilla, agreed to let go of a $ 10 million transfer. According to reports, Hernandez representatives were scheduled to meet with the Galaxy this week.
If an agreement can be reached and Hernández joins the Galaxy, two of Mexico's most prolific goalscorers would play in a Los Angeles market full of Latino fans, stimulating an already healthy rivalry between clubs.
“Would I like to see it happen? Of course, ”said Vela. "It's a scoring machine … and it does a very good job defending. I think Mexican fans would be excited. But I don't know. We're just talking. I'm not saying anything."
LAFC, in its third season, began training a week earlier than most MLS teams because they will start playing earlier, traveling to Mexico to face Leon in a CONCACAF Champions League match on February 18. The second leg will be on February 27 at Banc of Estadio de California
While Vela joined other returnees such as defender Jordan Harvey and strikers Latif Blessing and Josh Perez at the training facilities of the Cal State Los Angeles team, Monday's session was also notable for who was not there.
Goalkeeper Tyler Miller, who won the 34 best West Conference games in the last two seasons, is "no contract," in the words of coach Bob Bradley, and is no longer bound to LAFC. Veteran defender Steven Beitashour, who started 24 games last season, was also not signed again.
Pablo Sisniega, who allowed nine goals and had 17 saves in six starts last season, is the favorite to replace Miller, but will be pushed by Phillip Ejimadu and Paulo Pita, the Marshall University goalkeeper who was the first LAFC team in last week’s draft.
"There is always the possibility that we add (another goalkeeper), but Pablo made great strides last year," Bradley said. "He showed a real promise in some of the games, so we feel good that he continues to develop."
Also missing were five incumbents who will be on duty in the national team for another three weeks or so: the Walker Zimmerman (USA); defender Eddie Segura and midfielder Eduard Atuesta (Colombia); and forward Diego Rossi and midfielder Francisco Ginella (Uruguay).
Everyone is expected to return in time for the Champions League game, but they will not have as much time to gestate as Leon, who will have played five MX League games before facing LAFC.
"It's hard … but the good thing is that they are not doing anything," said Harvey, who is 16 years old.th MLS season. "They are with their national teams, they are playing, they are definitely fit." So, except for injuries, they will fly back and give us a boost. "
There was a notable addition to Monday's practice and a great one to come. Bradley Wright-Phillips, a 34-year-old English striker who had three 20-goal seasons for the New York Red Bulls since 2014, was among the guests who did not participate.
LAFC also announced on Monday that it signed the 20-year-old Ecuadorian midfielder José Cifuentes, the seventh South American player under the age of 22 to sign with the club.
The 5-foot 9-inch Cifuentes, whose 25-yard rocket in the quarterfinals of the 2019 U-20 World Cup against the United States was named the tournament's goal, will join with newcomer Ginella to give LAFC two dynamic youngsters midfielders He will join the team waiting to receive his international transfer certificate and his P1 visa.
"He is a talented young player," Bradley said, "someone I think will fit in with some of the other really good young players we have."