The idea of the MLS as a retirement home has been confused for a while. While the league may not have attracted the biggest players in the world during their prime, the league certainly won’t wait until they can’t move anymore, for the most part (those watching) Douglas Costa for the Milky Way may disagree). Two of the biggest signings of the league this season, Xherdan Shaqiri and Lorenzo Insigne, are both under 30 and have left or have just left some of the biggest clubs in the world. For every Gonzalo Higuaín, there are two or three players making the most of it.
But what about the MLS as a coaching league?
If only temporarily, and only with one team, but that’s the impression you get when the LAFC arrests Gareth Bale for the rest of the season, and possibly next. Yesterday, Bale signed with the league leaders on a contract that runs until 2022 with an option until 2023.
To any outside observer, Bale’s arrival in the United States is just confirmation of the league being a rest house, but it’s really only because Bale has seen Madrid as a rest home. . After Wales qualified for the World Cup a few weeks ago, news of Bale simply retiring from the game has vanished, as he now has the chance to appear on the sport’s biggest stage. sports for the first time, as well as with the national team he is still on. cares deeply about representation. However, his contract with Real Madrid has expired and he will not appear in Qatar straight from the beach. Or maybe he will? The top thought is that Bale will join Cardiff City, whose facility is located right next to the Welsh national team base, where Bale is undergoing a special training regimen. Somehow, Bale found LA to be a more attractive destination than Cardiff.
Bale could perhaps find a match to Qatar in the MLS a little more tolerable than getting him sent off from the Championship on a muddy field in Bristol. The MLS campaign also comes to an end on October 9, and that’s for the MLS Cup warriors, which should give Bale a month-long break before the World Cup begins. That’s better for a few reasons. Firstly, the European season will begin as soon as the tournament starts, with just one week left between the tournaments kicking off and kicking off in Qatar (and Wales against the US on day one). Two, seeing Bale make just seven appearances for Madrid this past season, playing regularly for just over three months and then breaking in is probably all he has built up at the moment. . Focusing on 15-20 appearances over two and a half months in the Championship and then right into the World Cup might not have been his best preparation.
But as always with Bale, how does he care about the things that LAFC cares about? Did he just go to his own personal training camp? LAFC are league title contenders at the moment and this will be their first MLS Cup for what has become perhaps the biggest team in the league with the most passionate fanbase. They talk about the rainy Wednesday nights of January in Stoke, but how will Bale feel about the Western Conference Finals in or against Seattle if he feels a bit dizzy? This is a man who cannot be bothered for Champions League games.
Bale was just part of yesterday’s LAFC, when they also announced that they would extend Carlos Vela’s contract until 2023. There has been some question whether Vela will stay, as it is possible he will stay. was hoping to squeeze another big deal from someone in Europe. Whether that doesn’t come true or he enjoys life with The Black and Gold, that’s where he’ll be. Vela, like Bale, can tear an opponent apart when he feels like it, it’s just a matter of how and where he will feel. This is the same player who scored 34 goals and 10 assists in the MLS in 2019, then scored just 15 and 8 in 41 appearances in three seasons since combining injuries and apathetical.
Both of these announcements come just a few days after Giorgio Chellieni will also be involved. Chiellini may be more in line with the stereotype some have about MLS, given that he is 37. However, it took him just a year to hold the Italian European Championship and is a legend of the game. Juventus. He’s also not the type to simply show up and collect checks, so if there’s anything left in the tank, he’ll be a boon to LAFC and the league.
How Vela and Bale fit into the same team is questionable, as both are left-footed and both are best spread out from the right. One person that could be deployed in the No 10 position is most likely Vela, although coach Steve Cherundolo often chooses a 4-3-3 formation without the No. 10. The use of Bale or Vela in the role. Midfielders are more than begging to be ripped apart when they don’t have the ball.
If you’re an LAFC supporter, you certainly couldn’t ask for more of your team, and that puts pressure on Seattle, NYCFC, Montreal, Austin, the Red Bulls or anyone else intent on winning the Cup. MLS go home. Sadly, the league’s salary cap and roster doesn’t really allow for an arms race that LAFC is playing against each other. Many in the tournament who wants it will, and you know all the people outside do the same. The other problem is that with the MLS playoff structure, you can accumulate whatever you want on the list and a bad night will send you home. A spot in the CONCACAF Champions League next spring is no easy feat.
If Bale cares and is healthy, he becomes a must watch. If he’s merely coming up with a glorified workout program, LAFC is almost certainly strong enough to deal with it. But the league needs star power, an appeal, and Bale and Vela in song together will certainly be that.