Los Angeles FC manager Bob Bradley says he intends to build his team around Mexico international striker Carlos Vela.
Vela completed his move from Real Sociedad this week, opting to join the expansion club as its first designated player. And Bradley says he will be the cornerstone to build around ahead of the club's inaugural 2018 season.
"Carlos immediately puts us in a position of respect, but you have to work putting all the right players around him," Bradley told ESPN.
"Obviously, with a player such as Vela, to see him do great things, he needs other guys to put the ball on his feet, players who can get the ball back so he could be found on the right position. When it comes to team building, you have to understand details."
Bradley has high hopes for the 28-year-old, who will move to the U.S. after spending his entire career in Europe.
"I think he is a great talent. He is a guy who is fun to watch," Bradley said. "He is exciting, he can score goals, he sets up goals and I think that, when you try to build a team and do it in a great city like Los Angeles, where people know football, you have to bring in players who are exciting and fun to watch and who make the team better."
It will be interesting to see how Vela, a player known for beating his own drum, will perform under Bradley, a manager keen on keeping tactical discipline.
ESPN analyst Herculez Gomez, who played under Bradley and against Vela with the U.S. national team, raised doubts about how the pair would get along.
"I don't know if this is the best signing for Bob Bradley," Gomez said. "This type of player doesn't exactly scream tactical discipline. In the past he's had his issues... That said, Bob's gotten the most out of players like a Clint Dempsey, who wasn't the most disciplined tactically.
"Carlos Vela is the most talented player in the Mexican pool. He's a very big signing, I have no doubt that he'll do instantly well. I just don't know if he's Bob's cup of tea."
David Moyes, who previously managed Vela at Real Sociedad, said he did not expect any issues between Vela and the club.
"I had no problems with Carlos, he was quite the player," Moyes said on ESPN FC. "He was the main player on Real Sociedad. I think it's a great signing for LAFC. I've never had any issues with him.
"He can play different positions. He can play to the right, to the left, right down the middle. He can also be a No. 10. He has great control, and he's faster than people might think."
Vela will stay at Sociedad until the new year, though he left Spain this week to head to California. LAFC announced a welcome party for Vela on Friday from 5-9 p.m. at Exposition Park.