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September 2, 2020

Bob Bradley

Press Conference

LAFC 5, San Jose 1

BOB BRADLEY: I gave everybody credit in the locker room because I really felt the response in the last few days after the Seattle game, coaching staff with some video, and then making sure guys understand things that we're still doing well, things we have to improve on, but in a short turnaround, you could see already yesterday that there was a really good way about the group, a good focus, a good sense of just continuing to play our football and not being phased, really excited to play a night game and back in California. Field was in great shape. So that part of it, excellent.

Quick comments. I think it's really important for Pablo, when he played a couple games in Orlando and then we made the decision for Kenneth to go back in. We talked to Pablo to make sure the next time chances came that what we needed was a little bit more presence and a little bit more personality and command and I think we saw a lot of that.

I was disappointed that as a team we slipped at the end because it's a night that it's important still to get a shutout. Also Latif at right back tonight, really took responsibility to not only pick moments to go forward but to play right back in a disciplined way, make all the right plays defensively. So for me, that was great to see.

And then Cifu continues to make progress and got his first goal. Showed some really good ability. Excellent work there. Good work by the front three. All in all, a good win for us.

Q. Great to see you play under the lights at Banc of California Stadium. Wanted to ask about Tristan and his play at central defense. There was a couple times in the first half where he made some deep runs in the attack. Is that something that he's got the green light to do, and how did you overall see his performance in that position?

BOB BRADLEY: Very happy with Tristan. We talked to him and we've felt throughout the year that the idea was to move him more consistently to center back and the way things have gone so far, he played more right back.

I mean, part of it is that Dan started this season in really good form, and it's taken us a while to Andy Najar going at the level we know he can play, and so we had different things that meant that this move of Tristan to center back just didn't happen as consistently as we wanted.

But it was important that we got him there in this match. I think, you know, there's quality -- he's more comfortable there. The part as a right back where going forward and the responsibilities on that, and sometimes I think that that's not his most natural thing.

So very pleased with the way he played. As you know, San Jose plays in a tight man-to-man system, and so oftentimes, they have a free man at the back and your center backs, as you start to play, have a chance when there's space to carry the ball forward, and it's an important part of playing against a team that plays in a tight man-to-man system.

So that doesn't happen every game, but Tristan took responsibility in those moments, moved the ball up the field and made some good plays.

Q. What can we expect for the Trafico Classic?

BOB BRADLEY: For the match with the Galaxy?

Q. Right.

BOB BRADLEY: Yeah, that's -- we talked about it in the locker room. Obviously it always means a lot. It has so much importance to our fans. I was very clear after (the last match) I just can't think we were ourselves and didn't play with enough intensity.

Galaxy is on a little bit of a good run so we look forward to going to their stadium and being at our best and really having the right kind of mentality to win a big match.

Q. The last three times you played San Jose, you put 14 goals on them. What do you attribute that to? Have you solved their man marking?

BOB BRADLEY: No. I mean, it's a unique challenge. San Jose always plays with intensity. Matías Almeyda's teams are always competing and they understand the system. We have some dangerous attackers, and so when teams play tight man-to-man, the ability to create openings and get guys on the move is something that our guys enjoy, and we've been able to have some good matches.

But we have great respect for what they are all about as a team, and we always enjoy the matches with them. It's a different kind of challenge because of the way they play. Everyone knows that Matías Almeyda picks up a lot of ideas from Bielsa, so this type of football still can be so effective. It's still very dangerous going forward. And in our league, I think it's -- when you talk about teams with different identities and different playing styles, I think San Jose has been able to do that. We always know that it will be a really, really good test.

Q. Along the same line speaking about defense, you touched on the fact that you guys want to be more concrete back there; I saw you had a bit of a convo with Eddie after the game, anything that stood out for you, or just post-match things that you wanted to touch on?

BOB BRADLEY: We are trying to get more leadership in the defense. Eddie is a really good player but not one that always talks enough. Tristan we're always asking for more personality. Tristan has real ability to take a bigger role and have a bigger presence. I started talking to those guys at about 75 minutes to stay in front of them and make sure the concentration was really good and not give up any goals tonight.

I wanted them to know that as good as the game was, late in the game, we got carried away. We lost our -- instead of maybe keeping the ball, we'd try a pass that doesn't make much sense and we get caught a little bit.

Tristan could have possibly cut off the cross, but it's that lapse that we are still trying to work on. We are in many ways still a young team, and I think everyone knows that in our good moments, there's some really exciting football, but there's also got to be moments where we understand situations better, make better decisions, and get a mentality that eliminates some of the mistakes that have cost us so far this year.

Q. You mentioned Jose, and we see that Jose comes from less to more. What do you think he needs to improve?

BOB BRADLEY: Cifu has great ability, and now it's just being more aware of situations on the field, having -- being a little bit more consistent with his intensity. You know, he still has some moments where he is very strong physically, reacts very, very quickly to situations, but other moments where now the intensity drops. His passing -- again, his awareness of what's going on around him and a little bit more consistency of just his effort throughout the match.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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