The number of worthwhile articles generated from social media is few and far between. My News & Notes column, on the other hand, is a different story.
So after watching LAFC play to a 1-1 draw in Seattle, despite playing up a man for more than an hour, like many fans, I was in search of answers. Was it just not LAFC's day? Individual mistakes and missed opportunities, should I be worried? Didn't LAFC just defeat Seattle 4-1 a week ago? I had my own ideas, but I was curious as to the thought process of the masses.
A quick perusal of my Twitter timeline had me assuming the worst. Then I took a moment to listen to Bob Bradley's postmatch scrum with the media. And while there was the disappointment of leaving points on the table, the tone was decidedly different.
"We give up an early and we respond really well. Then we have a long time to try to get another goal and it's just a matter in those situations, can you be shape, can you get the timing, can you really make a play? I thought we kept trying. But it's a day where we just couldn't make a play when it mattered," Bob Bradley told reporters. "They get credit, man. They worked hard.
"We're determined to hang in there. For us, it's frustrating. But that's also how it goes somedays."
Naturally, with the match ending deadlocked, focus turned to the chances that could have been. And none were bigger than Christian Ramirez's opportunity minutes into the second half.
Sprinting to get on the end of a low cross from Latif Blessing at the far post, Ramirez had the entire net at his mercy with Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei cut out by the initial pass. But whether it was the speed of the ball or an inability to get his footwork straight, to Ramirez's dismay, the shot sailed harmlessly over the bar.
Asked afterward if the miss affected his side the rest of the way on the day, Bradley was resolute.
"No. Look, we create a good chance. The ball is coming across, hoping a little bit. Christian feels bad because he's a goalscorer," Bradley said. " But that's football. He's still a guy that we have great confidence in."
The general vibe around training this week has followed along those lines as well.
Speaking with multiple members of the team throughout the week, the disappointment with not being able to capitalize on the advantage in Seattle was just that. And not some deeper issue within the side.
A rewatch of the match results in a similar conclusion. Against a compact, determined 10-man Sounders team, LAFC wasn't simply a blunt instrument on an immovable force. LAFC found multiple ways to create opportunities. They went wide, they found passes through the middle, and completed combinations in tight spaces at the edge of the Seattle penalty area. It wasn't just the one miss that made the difference.
Had LAFC abandoned its style of football and settled for aimless crosses at a set Seattle defense, the alarm bells might be ringing. But as Bradley already noted, sometimes that's just football. And with a match against the Chicago Fire on the horizon at Banc of California Stadium, the belief in LAFC's process remains.
"Normally, our attackers, if they get one chance, they're going to finish it," Jordan Harvey said after training on Wednesday. "This game we had multiple and we weren't able to put it away for whatever reason. But coming back to the Banc, we're excited. It's a place we have a ton of confidence. And we've scored a ton of goals. And we have our crowd behind us.
"I just can't wait."
News & Notes
- After not traveling with the team to Seattle due to knee soreness leading up to the match, Steven Beitashour has been training in full with the team. The right back is expected to be available to Bob Bradley on Saturday. LAFC are winless in the three matches Beitashour has missed this season.
- On loan with USL League One side FC Tucson, goalkeeper Phillip Ejimadu recorded the first shutout of his professional career in a 2-0 win.