Charlotte FC striker Karol Swiderski won a battle of MLS attackers when facing LAFC’s Gareth Bale on Sunday in the UEFA Nations League.
The Charlotte FC talisman scored the decisive lone goal for Poland to defeat Wales 1-0 in Cardiff, keeping his national team in League A of the tournament.
Swiderski struck in the 57th minute after finishing a brilliant no-look pass from Robert Lewandowski. The game-winner secured a massive victory for the Poles as they finished preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, where they’ll face Argentina, Mexico and Saudi Arabia in Group C.
Swiderski, who continues to make a strong case as Lewandowski’s attacking partner in Qatar, has now scored six goals in his last nine games for Poland, a run of form that has also been notable for his MLS side.
Charlotte’s original Designated Player has scored 10 goals in 28 games for the expansion side this season, two of which came in last week’s crucial comeback 3-2 win at Chicago Fire FC to keep their Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs hopes alive in the Eastern Conference. For his heroics, Swiderski won MLS Player of the Week presented by Continental Tire honors for Week 32.
Charlotte will need their top striker to return stateside with the same intensity as they look for a dramatic close to the regular season. At 38 points, The Crown are currently below the playoff line, four points off the last postseason spot with three games to go. Their next game will be decisive – and as difficult as it gets – as they host Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia Union on Oct. 1 (5:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+).
Meanwhile, for Bale and Wales, the defeat against Poland meant relegation to League B in the UEFA Nations League. The LAFC star returned to the starting lineup and was lively throughout 90 minutes after a year without playing a full game.
The loss against Poland was Wales' last game before the World Cup. The Dragons will open their participation in Group B on Nov. 21 against the United States (2 pm ET | FOX, Telemundo), plus also face England and Iran.