Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Bale ´on the road´ to enjoying football again after another LAFC win

SoccerNews in MLS 30 Jul 2022

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Gareth Bale is yet to start for Los Angeles FC, but already “life seems a little bit better” in MLS for the much-maligned former Real Madrid forward.

Bale has joined LAFC after leaving Madrid, where he won five Champions League titles but was criticised for appearing to prioritise his international career with Wales.

The 33-year-old will lead his country into the Qatar World Cup last this year, yet he is first having an impact at LAFC.

Bale has made three appearances from the bench for a total of 71 minutes, scoring against Sporting Kansas City last week.

The former Tottenham man’s latest 28-minute shift against the Seattle Sounders on Friday was his longest yet, helping LAFC to see out a 2-1 win courtesy of Carlos Vela’s goal shortly before half-time.

After the game, in which Kwadwo Opoku cancelled out an early Jesus Murillo own goal, Bale told FOX Sports: “I think any player will tell you if they have a smile on their face, they enjoy football more, you play better, a bit more enthusiastically, and life seems a little bit better.

“I want to get back to enjoying my football, and I feel like I am on the road to do that, and I’m looking forward to what lies ahead.”

LAFC have won all three games in which Bale has featured, but he is no stranger to success. The warm welcome he has received in the United States is slightly less familiar.

“It’s hard to pinpoint [why he is enjoying his football], but a happy environment, the fans are so welcoming,” he explained. “Even in the away stadiums, they are not so bad, I guess.

“It’s just a family, friendly environment, and it’s what football should be, the place where you bring your kids. It’s not hostile, and it just seems like a great environment in MLS.”

LAFC can afford to ease Bale in, as they lead the Supporters’ Shield race by six points following this latest victory.

Coach Steve Cherundolo described Bale as “in week three of pre-season” and “probably around a 45-minute range”.

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