Gareth Bale’s first 43 minutes in Major League Soccer have been quite eventful to say the least.
His first touch in an 18-minute cameo against Nashville SC saw him pull off a stunning flick around defender Daniel Lovitz – a clip that quickly did the rounds on social media.
The question on everybody’s lips now is when will Bale make his first start for the club? Perhaps in this Friday’s heavyweight clash against Concacaf Champions League holders Seattle Sounders in what will be Bale’s home debut?
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According to LAFC head coach Steve Cherundolo, that may come a little too soon, but Bale is certainly making rapid progress.
“He’s getting better,” Cherundolo said of the 33-year-old. “It’s a pre-season [for him], so in pre-season, your body sometimes goes through bad days and good days, a little shock to the nervous system, some sore days, and we’re constantly improving him. We’re on track.
“I think he’ll be in [a] position to add minutes to what we saw last week. But at a healthy pace, not too much too soon, I think we can add [minutes]. I’d prefer not to put a number on that, but I think we can add to what we had last game.”
LAFC head into the meeting with the Sounders top of the overall standings, three points clear of their nearest Supporters’ Shield rivals, the Philadelphia Union.
Though the Sounders have struggled for consistency in MLS play, their status as CCL winners certainly shows how much they’ll test LAFC’s pedigree.
“As you know, Seattle is a big team in this league,” Mexican forward Carlos Vela said. “They won the Concacaf Champions [League], so for us it’s a big test because if you want to win the championship, you have to beat the best teams in the league.
“For us, every single game is important because we want to win the Supporters’ Shield, we want to win MLS Cup. So we have to focus on doing our job and play as best we can and get points.”