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Another disappointing start for LAFC’s Gareth Bale

The Welshman was expected to make an immediate impact in Major League Soccer but has disappointed in his two starts in MLS.

The Welshman was expected to make an immediate impact in Major League Soccer but has disappointed in his two starts in MLS.

Gareth Bale was Los Angeles FC’s big summer transfer for the second part of the 2022 MLS campaign, but he has yet to make a difference for the top seeded team in the Western Conference. The Wales captain was a blockbuster signing and on Monday Major League Soccer announced that he boasts the highest-selling jersey in the league.

Every time that LAFC play at home or away, the expectations are on Bale showcase his talent, provide assists and score goals. But the reality is that the forward has yet to make an impact for the Black and Gold and apparently has not gained the full trust of first-time MLS manager Steve Cherundolo.

Bale still to make an impact

Bale has only made two starts in 10 appearances since arriving in Major League Soccer just under three months ago. At first Cherundolo was managing the 33-year-old’s minutes because he came from the off-season and it took some time for him to reach full fitness. After five games coming on as a substitute, Bale finally made his first appearance in the LAFC line-up in the 4-1 defeat against Austin FC on 26 August.

He featured in an attacking trio with Carlos Vela and ‘Chicho’ Arango, but failed to connect with them during the 60 minutes he played, before being subbed off. The decision to start Bale backfired for LAFC because he seemed lost, missed a shot on goal and had a pass completion rate of 80 per cent.

Since his first start, the player has come on as a substitute in the 2-1 defeat against Houston, the 2-0 win against Real Salt Lake and the 2-1 defeat against FC Dallas last weekend. When asked about why Bale has only made one start in nine appearances, Cherundolo said the following:

Every game’s decisions and factors we have leading into our decision-making to who’s starting or coming off the bench, one affects the other and vice versa. We approach every game differently,” said Cherundolo prior to Tuesday’s game versus Minnesota United.

Bale has scored two goals in 10 appearances, but he found the back of the net when LAFC had a comfortable lead. Bale’s first goal was in the 2-0 win over Sporting Kansas City on 24 July and his second came in the 4-1 win over Real Salt Lake on 7 August. The former Tottenham and Real Madrid star made his second start against Minnesota United on Tuesday night, but once again it backfired for LAFC and he was replaced in the 61st minute.

Bale can’t find his spot on the field when playing alongside Vela, since they are both left-footed and play in the same position. LAFC were losing 1-0 when the Welshman was on the field, but once he came off, Vela scored a stunner to tie the game.


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