Bob Bradley had his squad back in training on Tuesday preparing to face the Vancouver Whitecaps (6:30p on Friday, April 13 | YouTube TV, UniMás 46) on the back of a short week. While consecutive defeats following LAFC's hot start has some people raising questions, Bradley stood by the work the Club has put in to this point.
"We’re building a team," Bradley said after training. "In all our games, I’ve seen good things. In all our games, I’ve seen things that must get better. As you’re building a team, as you’re developing a style of play, as you are establishing a mentality, these things come through different kinds of games."
Speaking specifically about the 5-0 loss to Atlanta last Saturday, Bradley was blunt.
"We weren’t good enough on the day in the attacking part of the field. Some of our timing, ideas, those things need to be sharper. As we pushed, they were able to take advantage again. They’re a good team," Bradley said.
But while he was critical of his squad on the day, specifically the team's precision in the offensive third and the reactions to decisions not going their way, the head coach reiterated that the foundation was in place. And now, the team has to continue to build off the foundation by putting the work in at training.
"Different situations call for different decisions. Do you play outside, do you play inside? Does your striker make a move across the front, does he hesitate for a second because he wants the ball the other way? This has a lot to do with building ideas, establishing understanding," Bradley said. "I think that that part is going in a good direction. Much of when we work in training, as work both attack and defense, we’re trying every day to build our attacking package to be more complete."
"In four games, I think we’ve seen enough good things to know we’re going in an excellent direction. Think we’ve seen enough things that still need work. Four games, all away, six points. Not totally satisfied by any means. But as a start, enough there that reinforces what we do every day."
News & Notes
- LAFC's match on Friday against Vancouver will be its first broadcast on YouTube TV. A 30-minute pregame show will accompany each match, as well as a postgame show immediately after the final whistle.
- Omar Gaber has returned to full training, a development that Bradley said was excellent news for the team as Gaber is "a talent player that is going to make a difference for our team."
- In the Atlanta match, center back Walker Zimmerman made his LAFC debut after a late injury during warmups in the season opener kept him out of the first three matches. Bradley was asked his thoughts of Zimmerman's partnership at the back with captain Laurent Ciman: "Overall, it was solid. If you look at large parts of the first half, our ability to make pressure and win the ball in their half, I thought that part of their understanding was very good. I think both will tell you that there are plays individually where they can do better. That’s great that these are the kind of guys that look hard at themselves, and that we as a team look at things and say this is how we have to improve."
- In talking about the 5-0 loss, Bradley addressed the team's reaction to a second controversial decision that resulted in a penalty to Atlanta. Following the incident, LAFC conceded three times in the span of nine minutes to bring the scoreline to 5-0. It was a response Bradley said was not indicative of the mentality he's trying to build: "It’s a team effort. You can have a day where not at your best, where you don’t get enough guys playing at their highest level or maybe a few key decisions don’t go your way. But at the end of the game, the pride in what we are all about and the identity what we have that has to be established … That is not the way that we are going to go about things. That was something that we looked pretty hard at."