Vela tied it at 1 in the 43rd minute for LAFC (2-0-1) by getting to Latif Blessing’s through ball and poking it into the back of the net. Vela leveled the match in the 76th on a penalty-kick goal.
Vela had one goal and three assists as LAFC routed the Portland Timbers 4-1 a week earlier.
Alexandru Mitrita opened the scoring in the 39th minute, running alone down the left side, cutting back two defenders in the box and finishing it into the upper corner. Alexander Ring gave NYCFC (0-0-3) a 2-1 lead in the 62nd minute. Ben Sweat kept the ball in play near the end line and fed it back to Ring at the corner of the 6-yard box for his second goal of the season.
In the only other meeting a year ago, Vela gave LAFC a second-half lead before an Ismael Tajouri-Shradi tied it at 2.