Gareth Bale scores first LAFC goal in Sporting Kansas City win

Bale is off the mark for LAFC.
Bale is off the mark for LAFC. / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Gareth Bale recorded his first goal for LAFC on Saturday, scoring in the 83rd minute to secure the team’s 2-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City. 

The Welsh figure came into the game in the 65th minute, replacing Kwadwo Opoku up top to play in his second match for the Black and Gold.

It didn’t take him long to get on the scoresheet, connecting with teammate Cristian Arango to manage the left-footed shot from the center of the box to the bottom right corner. Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper John Pulskamp, on for the injured Tim Melia, attempted to make the save, but there was no stopping Bale’s strike. 

“It was nice to come on and grab a goal to help the team get the three points,” said Bale after the game. “From a personal point of view it’s nice to get off the mark and more importantly get the three points."

LAFC announced Bale as the newest bombshell signing on June 27, giving him only three weeks to get situated before he took the field against Nashville SC on July 17. But despite the quick turnaround, Bale insists it was the players that made the transition into the American league easier. 

“It was always going to take some getting used to playing with new players, but I think we understand each other very well. Good forward players always work off each other and know where to be off the ball and on the ball. They’ve been amazing since I’ve been here. They are both great players and hopefully we can keep gelling and score a lot more goals together,” he said.

“I’m enjoying it here. Everybody at the club has made me feel very welcome very quickly. I feel very settled straight away. I think any player will tell you, if they feel happy and settled they start to play their best football. I hope that continues and I’ll keep working hard for the team like I always do.”

Though Bale’s minutes with the Black and Gold have been limited to what would normally be his preseason in Europe, he continues to play an important role in the team’s Supporters’ Shield campaign.

LAFC currently sits atop the Western Conference with 45 points in 21 games and a record of 14W-4L-3D, while also leading the Shield standings by three points. 

The team returns to action when hosting the Seattle Sounders on Friday at Banc of California Stadium, before going on to compete against Liga MX side Club America in the Leagues Cup showcase.