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September 23, 2020

Bob Bradley

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Press Conference

Los Angeles Football Club 6, Vancouver 0

BOB BRADLEY: Opening remarks, yeah, we started very quickly. Immediately attacked down the left side. Scored some goal off set pieces. A lot of positives. Important for us to have a shutout tonight. Something that we haven't had for a while, and so hopefully it's a game that we can build on. But we felt good. There was a lot of moments where the football was sharp, created good chances, and we feel good about that, and now we just keep going. The games continue to come quickly.

Q. Thoughts generally on Bradley Wright-Phillips continuing to move up into the record books.

BOB BRADLEY: Yeah, he's a real goal scorer, just has a way of finding space in the box finish. Ante was a player that if he got any kind of chance on his left foot, he was deadly. Not exactly the same kind of players, but both great strikers, and I know Ante has really enjoyed working with Brad, and we're excited for him, so that's a great moment.

Q. Could you talk about Diego and Brian; they kind of make your offense, go, correct? That's obvious.

BOB BRADLEY: Diego has been our best player throughout the year. I should say along with Eduard, but we missed Eduard of late and it was great to get him back on the field tonight. But Diego has been super. His ability to step up when we have been without Carlos has been fantastic. He's grown as a player, a leader, and again, and he Eduard are both taking more and more responsibility. So that's clear.

Brian has been more up and down, but I thought it was a really good night for him, and we've had conversations of late, work on the field, just trying to get him sharper, his execution, his timing. He's a talented player, but I've said in the past, there are still times where he wants to go full speed all the time, and so trying to get him to be a little bit better at how he changes his speeds, not so predictable when he tries to dribble.

So those were positives, and hopefully we can continue to build on that with Brian.

Q. You mentioned with Brian having some ups and downs, you could say something similarly for the team overall in this phase you've been in since returning locally, some good games and some bad games. Now that you have a good win, how do you get that consistency over a stretch of games instead of having kind of one really good game, a couple really bad games and back and forth, that kind of thing?

BOB BRADLEY: Yeah, the results at times look bad, and then everybody says they are bad games. Seattle is a very good team. We went there twice, and actually in brother games, we had moments where we played really well. The first game in Seattle, their first goal comes in weird way where it hits Tristan and bounces loose and Diaz as is able to pounce on a ball 30 yards out.

Hit one over Kenneth, last game, two penalties in the first half. So when you go through a tough stretch, it just seems like sometimes, no matter what, you do things that hurt yourselves. We've made mistakes. There's been some goalkeeping errors and some there's been too many goals off of set pieces, and those are the things that have gotten in.

But the schedule in some of those ways has been challenging. It's been a strange time since we're back. We had I think three weeks without a game, and if I remember right, that first game against the Galaxy in the afternoon was -- I think that was August 22nd, so here we are a month and a day later. When games come quickly, when there's this one-day travel, yeah, we just have still not been as sharp as we can be. We've had stretches in every game where we feel good but other moment where is we've hurt ourselves, so we've just got to be more consistent and regain confidence and just keep trying to improve in all areas.

Q. Especially in the first half, your midfield was really controlling the pace of play and controlling all the spaces and finding the right areas. Was that a positional sense for you or number of touches? What were they doing well tonight in the first half?

BOB BRADLEY: I mentioned earlier, certainly Eduard helps give our midfield a little bit of an extra level of intelligence and I know that especially for Mark -- understanding in terms of when is the ball coming, he trusts that the ball will come at the right time in the right way. That sets him up for his next play, so he can already start looking and thinking about what comes next.

So that understanding is really important. And I think Cifu has continued to improve and it's nice seeing him in the midfield with Mark and with Eduard. So when we get it going, it's just the fluidity of wait the ball moves. It's finding the right space. It's using the right touches. It's looking forward and finding the right window.

So a lot of good football throughout the game from those guys and hopefully we can continue to improve in all these ways. That's the little bit of sharpness that sometimes you're trying to play the same football you always play, but you're just not quite as sharp in certain moments, quite with advantage, quite as sharp in your ability to play out of pressure in the midfield. Those are important things.

Q. You talk about importance of just trying to make sure that Diego was being vocal and maybe some different players on the team. On Atuesta, did you get that sense from him today, having the captain's armband, and how much he boosts up the midfield? And if the game had unfolded differently, was he fit to go the full 90, or he only played 70 because of the way the game went?

BOB BRADLEY: We're still watching Eduard's minutes. At around 70 or 75, he felt he was a little tired, and he hasn't had 90 minutes in a long time.

You know, leadership comes in different ways, but throughout this season, there has been a group of guys that have stepped up and taken on more responsibility. Eddie Segura, Diego, Eduard, maybe I'm missing somebody, and Mark. Those four guys have definitely been challenged. So it's not just about being vocal. It's about how do you set the standard every day, how do you know how to challenge, encourage, push your teammates. How do you make sure that when guys come in every day -- especially during a difficult period, guys are excited to get on the field and guys are excited for training.

I'm counting on all those guys. It's not just about being vocal. It's about being sharp in training. It's about making sure the football things we want to do well are there every day, and Eduard is a huge part of that. Certainly when we were in Orlando, we felt that even after we went from, whatever, March -- to July without a game, and I still felt that when we got there, the push to play the way we want to play, to control games, to go fast, I thought those things were there. We made some mistakes to give up some goals. I said it before, two times in Orlando, late games, teams equalized, Portland and Orlando offset pieces.

But you can see all of those guys taking bigger roles, and so certainly Eduard is a key part of that, and I've talked often about Diego. I don't mention Eddie much because he's just a steady guy who is there with a good mentality every day, and you know, Mark, also, has worn the captain's armband this year. So it's a collective effort to get more leadership from guys.

Q. In the type of scenario where a team is winning 5-0 at halftime, what is said in the locker room? What kind of speech do you give your team? Do you tell them to keep going or slow down a little bit? And my second question is with these type of games, when there is not a lot of goalkeeping participation, what are your thoughts or how can you rate -- we know there have been some doubt in goalkeeping?

BOB BRADLEY: There's not much -- you see where one ball has come back to him, his ability to make the right choice, right touch, right pass out of the back, and so those are some things we can still look at with him.

At halftime, we simply spoke about being a team now that doesn't all of a sudden get ahead of itself. Just stay sharp. Stay concentrated. Make the right choices, the right plays. It's not time for guys to start trying things on their own. It's time to play really good football as a team, control the game, and we really emphasize the importance to get a shutout.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

101813-1-1003 2020-09-24 05:01:00 GMT

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