July 6 (Reuters) - Los Angeles FC's (LAFC) forward Carlos Vela will not travel with the squad that is headed to the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando, Florida, with the Mexican choosing to stay at home with his family, the Los Angeles Times reported here on Monday.
LAFC are scheduled to leave for Florida on a charter flight later on Monday but the report says Vela will stay back to be with his pregnant wife and three-year-old son.
Vela is one of MLS’ highest-paid players and the 31-year-old also won the Most Valuable Player award last year, scoring a career-high 38 goals in a season.
LAFC did not immediately respond when asked by Reuters via email to confirm.
The 54-match MLS is Back tournament, which kicks off on July 8, will have all 26 teams congregating at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida.
Teams began arriving in Orlando last week for the relaunch of the league’s 25th season, which was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The United States leads the world with over 2.9 million COVID-19 cases while Florida confirmed a record high 11,000 new cases in a single day -- more than any European country reported in a day at the height of the crisis there.
On Saturday, the MLS said two players had tested positive for COVID-19 after they tested 1,191 players, coaches, referees, club staff, league staff and other individuals. A total of 14 positives were reported since testing began on June 28. (Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)
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