How the Major Moves by LA Galaxy and LAFC Could Affect the MLS
The MLS is continuing to grow as a sports league, and that has been shown this summer. Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini joined LAFC this summer, while Riqui Puig is joining the LA Galaxy.
As the MLS Cup Playoffs near, these players could have a massive impact on the rest of the season.
Both Los Angeles Teams Make Major Summer Signings
LAFC was one of the biggest stories in the sport when the club signed Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini earlier this summer. The team, currently first in the Western Conference, is four points ahead of second-placed Austin F.C. with a game in hand and will improve with the additions of both players.
Bale has experience in some of the biggest competitions in the world. He scored a bicycle kick in the 2018 Champions League final, along with another goal, to help Real Madrid win their 13th European Cup. He has played more than 170 games in his career in La Liga, scoring 81 goals. In addition, Bale has played more than 160 Premier League games, more than 60 Champions League games, and has won the Champions League five times.
While he only played in five games in La Liga last season, Bale should still have a huge impact for LAFC as the season goes on. His experience and talent could make a difference in the playoffs, and he will hope to use the experience of playing in the knockout stages of the playoffs to prepare for his first World Cup this fall.
Chiellini, like Bale, has played in a wide variety of major competitions within the sport. He was one of Juventus’ most important players for almost 20 years, and won Serie A nine times during his career in Italy.
During his career, Chiellini played 426 games in Serie A, and 73 in the Champions League. Like Bale, he has a wide range of experience and should help the team significantly in the playoffs as they hope to win the MLS Cup.
On the other hand, Puig, who recently joined LA Galaxy, is still at the start of his career. Puig is only 22 years old, and as recently as a few years ago he was expected to become one of Barcelona’s best players.
However, Puig hasn’t gotten as much playing time as he expected, and his development hasn’t gone the way he or the club anticipated. As a result, he departed Barcelona to join LA Galaxy this summer.
Puig doesn’t have the experience of Bale or Chiellini, but he has the potential to become a very good player. The increased playing time he could receive with the LA Galaxy could be an important factor as he continues to develop. His talent and potential should help LA contend to qualify for the playoffs this season.
The Impact of the Transfer Window
LAFC was already in a strong position to compete to win the MLS Cup before they signed Bale and Chiellini, and the club was already one of the best teams in the Western Conference. However, the additions of Bale and Chiellini make them the clear favorites to win the Western Conference and the MLS Cup.
Puig’s move to LA Galaxy could also have a dramatic effect on the rest of the season for the Western Conference. The Galaxy are currently ninth in the Western Conference, two points outside of the playoffs, with one less game played than Seattle and two fewer games than Portland, the two teams directly ahead of them in the standings.
As a result, Puig’s signing with the team could have a massive impact on who makes the playoffs. If he can help the midfield improve during the rest of the season, the team should be able to compete for the MLS Cup.
The MLS is continuing to grow, and players like Puig, Chiellini, and Bale joining the league is one of the main reasons why. LAFC should be favorites to win the MLS Cup with the additions of Bale and Chiellini, while LA Galaxy’s chances of making the playoffs should improve as Puig joins the team.
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