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SOCCER

Cherundolo hails goal hero Bale: “Now we all know he can run”

Gareth Bale scored a superb goal in Los Angeles FC’s 4-1 win over Real Salt Lake, and Steve Cherundolo expects him to keep up that form.

Update:
Jul 29, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles FC forward Gareth Bale (11) in action against Seattle Sounders during the second half at Banc of California Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. VasquezUSA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles FC coach Steve Cherundolo said there can be “no more hiding” for Gareth Bale after the former Real Madrid star proved his quality against Real Salt Lake. Bale scored his second MLS goal since moving to LAFC when he made it 4-1 in Utah late on during Saturday’s match.

The 33-year-old, who had replaced Carlos Vela in the 64th minute, surged from inside his own half before skipping down the right flank, taking on a batch of defenders and drilling home to cap a fifth straight MLS win over RSL for LAFC. All four of Bale’s MLS appearances so far have come from the bench, with the Wales forward playing just 96 minutes in total, but Cherundolo hinted that now has to change.

Cherundolo delighted for Bale

“It’s a great moment for Gareth, and for the team, he’s a well-liked guy in the group,” LAFC’s coach told a news conference. “It was a well-taken goal. We told Gareth after the game, now we all know he can run, and there’s no hiding. Ecstatic for him, he feels healthier and more fit by the day and I’m sure we’ll see more of that.”

LAFC sit top of the Western Conference on 51 points from 23 games in 2022, and are well on course to beat the MLS single-season points record of 73, set by the New England Revolution last year. Cherundolo, though, does not let such a potential feat concern him.

“RSL played well, they had a good gameplan, for sure,” he added. “Every team shows up to play against us, usually plays particularly well. If you’re in first place, there’s a target on your back, so we know that. As far as goals go, we’re taking this game-to-game, sometimes half-to-half. We’re not too concerned with records or the table at the moment. Obviously we like where we’re at, we’d like to stay there, but we’ll take this week-to-week.”

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