LOS ANGELES ( Associated Press) — John Thorrington confirmed on Sunday that Gareth Bale is joining Los Angeles FC. The timing of when this will happen is a bit uncertain.
LAFC co-president and general manager Thorrington said after Sunday’s match against the New York Red Bulls he expects Bell to arrive in the state in 10 days from next week after all immigration paperwork is completed.
Bell will be eligible to make his LAFC debut once the secondary transfer window opens on July 7. The club’s first match since the window opens will be on July 8 against the LA Galaxy.
Thorrington left open the possibility of Bale making his debut in the sport of rivalry, commonly known as El Traficó, but wanted to first assess his fitness and match readiness.
“With our sports science team and coaches understanding how to manage a player like Gareth, whether you call him a racehorse of a fine breed or a Ferrari, whatever your resemblance, he needs to put in extra attention and Care and management is required. In order to be successful, ”Thorrington said. “Certainly that is our intention here, and we believe we will be able to do that.”
While most people are wondering whether Bale’s arrival in Major League Soccer is primarily to help prepare him to lead Wales to the World Cup later this year, Thorrington Bell’s addition is expected to give LAFC its own. The first sees it as another piece to help win the MLS Cup.
LAFC has been one of the top clubs in MLS since it started playing in 2018. It won the Supporters Shield as the league’s top team in the 2019 regular season, but did not find much post-season success. It missed the playoffs for the first time last year.
With a 2-0 win over Red Bull on Sunday, LAFC are 10-3-3 and lead the league with 33 points.
The regular season ends on 9 October, with the MLS Cup Finals scheduled for 5 November. Wales’ first World Cup game in Qatar is against the United States on 21 November.
“The advantage of joining a group already like ours is that we will play him as much as we can. We expect him to be a top, top player for us and in this league, but we do so wisely,” Thorrington said. “I think when Gareth is looking at what he needs to do, his priority will be on LAFC. But we’re not naive about the fact that he’s a World Cup on the horizon like some of our other players. Before we go into his How we manage preparation will be critical to the success of Gareth and LAFC.”
Bale’s contract with Real Madrid expires at the end of the month. He scored 106 goals in 258 appearances for Real Madrid, winning five Champions League titles and three La Liga titles during his nine-year tenure.
Bell isn’t the only addition to the LAFC. Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini is likely to be the first to arrive after the contract was agreed a few weeks ago. Chiellini played 17 seasons at Juventus and also played for Italy at international level, which did not qualify for the World Cup.
Thorrington also confirmed that former MLS MVP Carlos Vela has agreed to an extension. The Mexican striker’s deal was due to expire after Wednesday’s match against FC Dallas. Vela has scored six goals this season.
“I think it speaks to the interest of these players, who still have a lot to offer to a club,” Thorington said. “It is a unique opportunity for a player like him to do something different at this stage in his career. But his priority is to come to victory.”
More Associated Press MLS: https://apnews.com/hub/major-league-soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports