The MLS-leading LAFC (15-4-3) picked up their season-best fourth win in a row and seven points clear of Austin at the top of the Western Conference during the longest winning streak since 2019. LAFC is also six points ahead of Philadelphia in the title race. Fan shield.
Seattle scored an early LAFC own goal but still fell to 0-5-1 at the Banc of California during the regular season. Here, the Sounders won the 2019 Western Conference Finals.
Chiellini started and played 71 minutes, while Bale came on as a substitute 63 minutes into both players’ third game for their new club. The duo’s move to the LAFC this summer turned a team that was already top of the MLS table into a potential powerhouse for the final three months of the season.
Bale, who scored his first MLS goal in Kansas City last week, received several standing ovations from the buoyant crowd. Chiellini also received loud applause when he checked out.
Chiellini and the LAFC were cheered on the front row at the Bank of California Stadium by Ángel Di Maria and several other players from Juventus, the club that Chiellini has been with for the past 17 seasons. Juventus are in Los Angeles on their US summer tour, where they will face Real Madrid at the Rose Bowl on Saturday night. Bale also visited his former teammates for their training session in Los Angeles earlier this week.
Seattle took the lead in the 14th minute when Christian Roldan forced a pass and made a hissing cross into the box, where Jesús Murillo slipped an own goal.
LAFC appeared to score in the 27th minute thanks to Vela’s powerful shot, but the goal was disallowed when video review showed Vela using his hand to catch the ball.
Opoku did equalize eight minutes later with an impressive shot, striking between the two Saunders and past a diving Stefan Frey. The 21-year-old striker from Ghana, better known as Mahala, is finding his place in the MLS by scoring five goals this season.
Vela scored in the 43rd minute when a beautiful cross from José Cifuentes was deflected point blank past Frey.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.