Bob Bradley has probably answered more questions about the World Cup in the past month than he has in the seven years since managing the US Men's National Team.
"This question again," Bradley joked with reporters after training on Thursday.
As things stand, LAFC could be sending a total of four players to this year's tournament in Russia, the most from one MLS side since the Columbus Crew sent five players back in 1998.
It's a predicament for the Bradley in terms of team selection. But one the LAFC head coach has maintained is not something he looks at negatively.
"You need always to try and build a squad from top to bottom. Where everybody knows that they are going to be counted on. That’s part of creating a good culture and creating team spirit," Bradley said of his LAFC team.
"What you do is you have a team that you put together, that you build, with the idea that you train every day. Guys get better. When you say you plan, you don’t know for sure as certain guys leave, which players will have improved the most. Which guys are really ready to step in in the moment. I think that we saw good signs against Dortmund of different guys that have improved throughout the season. In the next stretch, guys will certainly be getting opportunities."
With the World Cup questions out of the way, Bradley had a chance to focus on LAFC's opponent come Saturday: DC United (YouTube TV, UniMás 46 | 7pm PT).
Coming off a difficult result in Portland, LAFC's normal week of training took a different route with Borussia Dortmund visiting Banc of California Stadium for a friendly. That match ended 1-1, and it also gave Bradley a chance to give some of his players more time on the pitch than they'd seen during MLS play.
It was a positive diversion from the standard training session in Bradley's eyes, but at the end of the day, LAFC's goals on the pitch remain the same. And once again, Bradley expects his players to express those ideas against DC on Saturday.
"Dortmund made this a different training week, which everybody appreciated. Having that kind of a game for everybody certainly fit well with the work we do, the ideas, and things that we continue to try and build. Now we’ll once again try to take our best football, get control of the game, find the right ways to attack, find the right ways to win the ball back," Bradley said.
"Same as we do every other match."
News & Notes
- Omar Gaber and Marco Ureña have already left to join their respective national teams for World Cup camps. Ureña is still recovering from surgery to repair a facial fracture, but Bradley said he has been running over the past couple of days and was recently fitted with a mask for protection on the pitch. He expects Ureña will be ready for Costa Rica.
- Laurent Ciman was named on Belgium's provisional roster for the World Cup. Along with Carlos Vela, he is still with LAFC and is available for Saturday's match. Bradley said both Ciman and Vela would leave the following day to join their national teams.
- Walker Zimmerman will not be available on Saturday. He is currently with the US Men's National Team for their friendly with Bolivia. Although it is not a FIFA date on the calendar, Bradley said allowing Zimmerman to be with the national team is important to the player and club: "It’s something that he’s set as a goal. It’s something that we as a Club support. So it was an easy decision, and we’re excited to see him against Bolivia."