Walker Zimmerman Celebrates His Second Goal Against SJ 180922 IMG

#AskLAFC Mailbag: Corner Kicks, Injury Updates & More

We're back with another round of #AskLAFC questions from Twitter. As always, I'm here to pass along any info I've picked up from training and even ask a player or two to answer your questions directly. 

This week, we've got questions on set pieces, injury updates, and more. Let's get right to your questions:

Why are we struggling on corners? Besides Zimmerman’s two glorious goals last week, I can’t remember the last time we had scored on a corner. - @myeemye

Up until Walker Zimmerman's brace from corner kicks against San Jose, LAFC had been really struggling to create clear-cut opportunities from corner kicks. I think they probably had two to three goals as the result of scrambles in the box after corners, but nothing directly from the corner kick delivery. But the good news is that since those two goals, the Black & Gold have been much better.

The result in Chicago was a disappointment, but once again, Zimmerman was a force on corners. Whether it's through better timing of runs, service, or just repetition, LAFC really seems to be causing consistent problems to the opposition over the last two matches. Zimmerman was huge against Chicago, and Adama Diomande had a big chance as well. So you'd have to say the Club is trending up when it comes to corners. And it's definitely an area of focus with the playoffs looming.

Update on Silva's health? - @weareLAFCLIVE
How's Latif's injury? - @SUPREMEPEREZ

Figured I'd put these two questions into one for this week. Danilo Silva and Latif Blessing both missed LAFC trip to Chicago with injuries. Silva has been dealing with a hamstring injury, while Latif has some soreness in his hip flexor. The good news is Silva has returned to full training this week. He should be available for the match in Colorado on Saturday. Latif is "still not ready" to return to full training according to Bob Bradley on Wednesday. The winger has been working off to the side with the training staff and will continue to be monitored this week before a decision is made on his availability.

Based on complaints from fans throughout this inaugural season about VAR decisions that went against LAFC. Do you think LAFC has been the recipient of too many incorrect VAR decisions this season?#AskLAFC - @LNortwest

Now you guys are trying to get me in trouble with MLS.

On the whole, I think LAFC hasn't suffered the wrath of VAR too badly in terms of incorrect calls. What I would say is that things get sticky when you consider that VAR is meant to correct "clear and obvious" mistakes. The decisions that fans probably feel haven't gone there way are when the call on the field is a judgment call, and then even VAR doesn't make things 100 percent one way or the other. I've spoken with Bob Bradley a few times about VAR. He's mentioned calls that could go either way but after VAR looks at them, they appear more 60-40 or even 70-30. Does that constitute "clear and obvious" though? I don't have a good answer for that, but it's probably in those margins that fans feel most aggrieved by.

#AskLAFC Why is Blackmon on loan when we don't have another rightback option and are low on centerback options since Silva is injured? Seems like we are another injury or suspension away from not having any defensive options.  - @biancochocolate

Good question, but let me clarify the loan situations of players like Tristan Blackmon or Luis Lopez. Loans made from MLS sides to lower divisions are more akin to Major League Baseball than the English Premier League. When LAFC sends these players out on loan, it's to get them playing time in game situations to continue their growth as professionals but they aren't permanent or even for a set period of time. Which means, LAFC can call back Blackmon at any time and for any reason. So when injuries pop up or there's a suspension, the players can be easily recalled. Which is another reason you want to keep them in close proximity like Phoenix or Orange County. 

As for options at right back, or the backline in general, the coaching staff puts the players in a lot of different situations in training. This gets guys familiar with playing in different positions, formations, and with different personnel. At right back, you have Steven Beitashour as your starter, but Danilo Silva (back in training, as mentioned earlier) has also played some right back in his career and in training. And Beitashour has even played a bit of center back in training as cover for that position. So the staff prepares for these types of situations even before they arise.

Why don’t we shoot from outside the 18? Also why doesn’t Beitashour cross the ball? - @ElBorregoal

The shots from distance question was answered by Benny Feilhaber last week. If you haven't seen it yet, definitely check it out. As for LAFC's style of play and the philosophy on crossing the ball, why don't we get an answer from the man himself? Take it away, Steven Beitashour:

"It's kind of our style of play. Similar to I think Barcelona or Manchester City. The way they play, they like to have more cutback crosses or crosses on the ground. It's the style that Bob wants us to play. It's not just getting wide and whipping it in. I don't think we have the tallest of forwards, maybe sometimes if Christian [Ramirez] is playing, so the way we play, we try to get into good spots closer inside the box that way we can slip someone in."