The LAFC squad had a light training session today following the first U.S. Open Cup win in Club history. While the starters from Wednesday night's 2-0 victory over Fresno FC completed a regeneration routine, Bob Bradley had the rest of the guys out on the pitch for some small-sided drills.
Making rotational changes to his squad for the midweek match, Bradley was content with the contributions the entire team gave to push LAFC through to the Open Cup Round of 16.
"Definitely helps that when you have games where guys that have worked hard in training get opportunities and they help the team," Bradley said following training. "That reinforces what goes on every day. I think we have a really good group of guys. You always see them supporting each other. It’s a good part of what is going on around here. Open Cup and moving on with a lot of different guys contributing, I think the mood afterwards was very positive."
Now attention shifts to the Club's second consecutive road match in MLS play. LAFC travel to San Jose to face the Earthquakes on Saturday (YouTube TV, UniMás 46 | 7:30p). Without a win in the last four matches, Bradley concedes lessons needed to be learned during the winless stretch, but that the trajectory of his side was still positive.
"In that stretch, we had two difficult away matches, Portland and Dallas. There were positives in both, but those are teams that are on good runs right now. Going to those places and coming back with points means you got to be consistent over 90 minutes, and I don’t think we were in either case," Bradley said. "We tend to focus on just the lessons from each game and try to apply them moving forward. We knew we had left some points on the table, but all and all we were still feeling okay about the overall direction we were headed."
After the San Jose match, LAFC take a weeklong World Cup break with rest of MLS. As that time off looms, Bradley emphasized the need for a result on Saturday against a Western Conference foe had added significance.
"For us, the real importance this time around is that it is the last game before a little bit of a break. It’s important for us to end this stretch on a good note. Get back into the three-point column with an away win.
"We’ve sort of circled it and really tried to challenge the group that this is a little extra important given the timing of the game."
News & Notes
- Adama Diomande left the Open Cup match at the end of the first half with the help of trainers on Wednesday. He did not return for the second half, but was at the Performance Center with teammates. Bradley said he felt "ok" and did the normal light exercise routine prescribed to players after every match. The team will continue to monitor him for this weekend.
- In other injury news, goalkeeper Luis Lopez was more active in training today. Taking part in a variety of drills with the other goalkeepers, Lopez is "going to be back into regular training soon," according to Bradley.
- After defeating Fresno FC in the fourth round of the Open Cup, LAFC found out its Round of 16 opponent. The Club will host Sacramento Republic FC at Banc of California Stadium on June 20 at 7:30p. Ticket information will be available soon.