LAFC’s Vela only Mexican better than Gio – Herrera

Football
Herculez Gomez explains why the new Leagues Cup is a first step toward more direct competition between MLS and Liga MX.

MEXICO CITY — Club America coach Miguel Herrera believes the only Mexican player with more talent than his new forward Giovani dos Santos is LAFC’s Carlos Vela.

The former national team manager was asked in an interview with ESPN’s Futbol Picante which Mexican can compete with former Barcelona player Dos Santos in terms of raw talent.

“[There’s only] one Vela,” said Herrera. “And Vela has more than Giovani.”

Vela is honing in on the MLS MVP award for his performances for LAFC this season, while Dos Santos signed for Club America on July 6 in a shock move after LA Galaxy exercised their option to buy out the contract of the Mexico international ahead of the MLS season.

Herrera said Dos Santos could play on the left wing, right wing, behind a center-forward or even as a second striker for America, but the 31-year-old’s debut in Mexican soccer will have to wait beyond this weekend.

“It’ll maybe be the second or third round [of games in the Apertura] when we’ll see Giovani on the pitch,” said Herrera.

Dos Santos trained for the first time at the club’s facility in Mexico City on Wednesday and showed up at the club in good condition, according to Herrera.

But the coach is worried that Dos Santos could pick up an injury if he plays against Tijuana in Las Aguilas‘ Liga MX opener on Saturday and won’t give him minutes until “he is 100 percent.”

Herrera is settled at Club America and the team is one of the favorites for the title this season, but he would be open to a move to Europe should an offer come in an the end of the season.

“Yes, of course, for a [European] team with a good project, without doubt,” said Herrera. “America knows the door could be open to keep developing. I’m very happy with America. I’ll say it again, if I’m here for many years, I’d be happy, I don’t want to leave.”

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