Updated: Jul 19
On Sunday, John Thorrington officially announced Gareth Bale's signing with Los Angeles FC. It's still unclear when exactly that will take place.
After Sunday's game against the New York Red Bulls, Thorrington, co-president, and general manager of LAFC, said he hopes Bale can go to the United States within the next seven to ten days once all the visa paperwork is through.
After the secondary transfer window begins on July 7, Bale will be qualified to make his LAFC debut. The team's first game after the window opens is on July 8 against rival LA Galaxy.
Thorrington left the door open for Bale to make his professional debut in the rivalry game known as El Trafico, but they want to first evaluate his level of fitness and match readiness.
Thorrington added, "With our sport science team and coaches understanding how to handle a player, like Gareth, who does need extra attention, care, and management to put them in a position to succeed, whether you call them a thoroughbred racehorse or Ferrari, whatever your analogy is." That is undoubtedly the goal here, and we are convinced that we can achieve it.
Thorrington sees Gareth Bale as another component to assist LAFC to win its first MLS Cup while most others wonder if Bale's move to Major League Soccer is solely to help him prepare to represent Wales in the World Cup later this year.
Since they began competing in 2018, LAFC has been a top club in the MLS. In 2019, it was the league's best team throughout the regular season and won the Supporters Shield, but it failed to perform well in the postseason. Last year was the first time it has missed the playoffs.
LAFC is 10-3-3 and has the most points in the league with 33 after its 2-0 victory over the Red Bulls on Sunday.
The MLS Cup Final will take place on November 5 after the regular season ended on October 9. Wales will play the United States on November 21 in their opening World Cup match in Qatar.
He will be played as much as we can because he is joining a group like ours. Thorrington stated, "We anticipate him to be a top, top player for us and in this league, but we will do it sensibly. "I believe that when Gareth considers what he needs to do, LAFC will be his top priority. However, we are aware that he, like some other players, has the World Cup in sight. Gareth and the success of LAFC will depend on how we handle his preparation before then.
At the end of the month, Bale's Real Madrid contract comes to an end. In 258 games, he made 106 goals for Real Madrid, where he played for nine years and helped to win three La Liga and five Champions League titles.
LAFC has made other additions besides Bale. Giorgio Chiellini, an Italian defender who recently signed a deal, is most likely to arrive first. Chiellini spent 17 seasons with Juventus and also represented Italy at the international level, but the country failed not to make the World Cup.
Carlos Vela, a former MLS MVP, has agreed to a contract extension, according to Thorrington. The contract of the Mexican striker was set to expire following Wednesday's game against FC Dallas. This year, Vela has scored six goals.
Thorrington stated, "I believe that somatically it speaks to the interest of these players who still have a lot to provide to a club. For a player like them at this point in their career, this is a rare chance to try something different. However, winning is their top priority.