Los Angeles Times

Chiellini, Bale debut at home



Kwadwo Opoku and Carlos Vela scored in the first half, and LAFC beat the Seattle Sounders 2-1 Friday night in the home debuts of European superstars Giorgio Chiellini and Gareth Bale.

MLS-leading LAFC (154-3) earned its season-best fourth consecutiv­e victory and moved seven points clear of Austin atop the Western Conference during its longest winning streak since 2019.

Seattle scored on an early own-goal by LAFC but still dropped to 0-5-1 at Banc of California during the regular season.

Chiellini started and played 71 minutes, while Bale came on as a substitute in the 63rd minute of both players’ third match with their new club.

Bale got several standing ovations from the lively crowd. Chiellini also got loud cheers when he checked out.

Chiellini and LAFC were cheered on by Ángel Di María and several other players from Juventus, the club that employed Chiellini for the last 17 seasons. Juventus is in L.A. on its U.S. summer tour to face Real Madrid at the Rose Bowl on Saturday night. Bale also visited his former Madrid teammates at their training session in L.A. this week.

Vela got the go-ahead goal in the 43rd minute when he slid to deflect José Cifuentes’ beautiful cross past goalkeeper Stefan Frei at point-blank range.

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