Follow all the action play by play from Geodis Park
Under normal circumstances, this Sunday’s game between Nashville SC and LAFC could be just another game in the MLS season, however, beyond the numbers of both teams, we are waiting for what could be the debut of Welsh star Gareth Bale with the team that seeks to remain the best in numbers in this league.
Bale turned 33 years old and did so by traveling to Tennessee, so it looks likely that he will see action at Geodis Park in the game that could also mean the debut of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini for Steve Cherundolo’s side.
It is worth remembering that Chiellini, from Juventus, and Bale, from Real Madrid, were the two big signings this summer for LAFC, which has attracted the attention of a team that before the arrival of these two players had Mexican striker Carlos Vela as its top representative, but now, and with a great pace in the regular season, they have become the top contenders for the MLS championship.
Full party for the Los Angeles Football Club, Steve Cherundolo’s team celebrated the MLS debuts of their star signings Giorgio Chiellini and Gareth Bale with a clear if underwhelming victory at Nashville SC by a score of 1-2.
With Gareth Bale on the field, LAFC opted for possession of the ball to preserve the advantage of a goal, with 4 minutes of added time remaining for the victory to be official.
After Gary Smith’s modifications, Steve Cherundolo responded with a couple of substitutions, Franco Esocbar and Kwadwo Opoku left the field and Sebastien Ibeagha and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi took their places.
With the attention focused on Gareth Bale, Nahville SC tries to tie the game, for this, coach Gary Smith sends two substitutions, Luke Haakenson came on for Tah Anunga and Ake Loba took the place of C.J. Sapong.
After five minutes on the pitch, all eyes are fixed on Gareth Bale, who has already shown his great talent with a spectacular backheel pass.
Steve Cherundolo decides to give 20 minutes to the Welshman Gareth Bale in his MLS debut, he entered the field in the place of Cristian Arango, and Latif Blessing took the spot of Ilie Sánchez.
Nashville SC coach Gary Smith sends two players to Geodis Park, Teal Bunbury and Sean Davis taking the places of Alex Muyl and Dax McCarty.
With 25 minutes left to play, LAFC is experiencing its best moments of the match, Nashville FC coach, Gary Smith, is already preparing several substitutions.
Coach Steve Cherundolo gave 60 minutes of action in his first game to defender Giorgio Chiellini, whose spot was taken by Eddie Segura.
Series of rebounds in the LAFC box and behind them, the Nashville SC captain was left alone to push the ball into the net, however, Dax MacCarthy sent his shot to the right of the post.
In the first play of the second half, LAFC once again took the lead in the game, a spectacular cross by Carlos Vela for Ryan Hollingshed whose header hit the post and on the rebound, José Cifuentes pushed the ball into the net.
Still without the presence of Gareth Bale on the field of Geodis Park, as the second half of the match between Nashville SC and LAFC is underway, Giorgio Chiellini is still on the pitch for Steve Cherundolo’s team.
In a match without many actions with goal danger, Nashville SC came from behind to tie the score, more emotions are expected in the second half and also the possible debut of Gareth Bale.
The German Hany Mukhtar does not miss the penalty kick and scores a goal for the sixth consecutive game and his 12th of the season.
After a corner kick, the penalty kick is decreed in favor of Nashville SC, in the VAR review it is clearly seen a pull by Ilie Sánchez on C.J. Sapong.
After 37 minutes played at Geodis Park, Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini has not suffered in his MLS debut, his lack of speed has not cost LAFC, so far.
The LAFC attack awoke, a great play by Carlos Vela who sent a pass to Kwadwo Opoku, who crossed to Cristian Arango, who tried two shots, the second with his heel, but goalkeeper Joe Willis prevented the Colombian forward’s second goal.
Colombian Cristian Arango opens the scoring in a game without many dangerous actions, a great pass from Ryan Hollinshead for “Chicho’s” seventh goal of the season.
It took half the first half for the visitors to try a shot on goal, however, Carlos Vela finally gave a good pass to José Cifuentes, who, however, could not disturb Joe Willis.
Mexican striker Carlos Vela attempted his first shot of the match in a play in which the referee ended up booking Brian Anunga for a foul in the middle of the field in which the referee let play so as not to interrupt LAFC’s counterattack.
Following a hard forearm strike from Alex Muyl on Ryan Hollingshead, the Nashville SC midfielder picks up the first yellow card of a game that lacks pace.
Despite trying to put pressure on the LAFC defenders, Nashiville SC has not been able to take possession of the ball from the rivals, who have not been able to shoot on goal either.
Nashville SC defender Eric Miller hit Ghanaian Kwdwo Opoku in the face with his hand, the LAFC player had to leave the field and is now back.
It took 34 seconds for Giorgio Chiellini to touch his first ball as an LAFC player, it was goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau who gave him the pass with his hands.
Giorgio Chiellini officially makes his MLS debut, Nashville SC and LAFC are already playing from Geodia Park, while this is happening, Gareth Bale is for the first time as an option on the bench for Steve Cherundolo.
As true superstars Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini arrived at the home of Nashville SC, the atmosphere is one of great expectation despite LAFC’s away status.
Gary Smith, coach of Nashivlle SC, announced the Starting XI for the game against LAFC, these are the chosen players:
1 – Willis
2 – Lovitz
5 – Maher
15 – Miller
25 – Zimmerman
6 – McCarthy
10 – Mukhtar
19 – Muyl
27 – Anunga
8 – Leal
17 – Sapong
Steve Cherundolo, coach of LAFC, announced the Starting XI for the game against Nashville FC, highlighting the debut of Italian Giorgio Chiellini, for now, Gareth Bale is on the bench.
16 – Crepeau
2 – Escobar
3 – Murillo
14 – Chiellini
24 – Hollingshead
20 – Cifuentes
6 – Sánchez
23 – Acosta
22 – Opoku
9 – Arango
10 – Vela
According to Cherundolo’s words, both Chiellini and Bale are available to see action in the match, and according to press reports, including those of ESPN’s Katia Castorena, it is expected that the Italian will be part of the Starting XI and that the Welshman will be initially on the bench and may have minutes of activity, depending on the circumstances of the match.
LAFC, for the time being, has lost the lead of the Western Conference, which is currently in the hands of Austin FC, although with two more matches, if they win this
Sunday’s game, the team from Southern California would take the lead again, as it has 32 points and would reach 42, compared to 41 for the Texan team.
On the other hand, Nashville SC is currently in fourth place in the same classification with 30 points and if they win, they would overtake Minnesota United in third place.
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