Bracing for Bale: USMNT Preps for Wales and Its Man for the Occasion

Published by
Sports Illustrated

By Brian Straus Gareth Bale may be past his prime and plagued by questions about his fitness, but the U.S. knows not to doubt his ability to meet the moment. AL RAYYAN, Qatar — The way Kellyn Acosta describes it, the moment was an MLS version of that viral photo featuring Dwyane Wade celebrating while LeBron James rises behind him, ball in his right hand, still several feet from the rim. Wade understood inevitability. Acosta, who was on the Los Angeles FC bench after exiting this month’s MLS Cup final, said he felt something similar deep into extra time as teammate Diego Palacios reached the e…

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