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October 25, 2020

Bob Bradley

Press Conference

Los Angeles Football Club 2, LA Galaxy 0

BOB BRADLEY: Good team win and when I say team it's not just the guys that played today. It's everybody, because in this last stretch, everybody's been called on, different guys have stepped up. We kept training at a good level and it was nice to get some different guys back today. It's never easy to break down a team when they go down in and defend with everybody behind the ball. I think there were moments when our use of touches and our ability to move the ball quicker, mix up our passes, could have been better, but ultimately, we created some good opportunities, took advantage, and we're satisfied with that.

Q. Following on what you just said, you used I think 26 players this year and a lot of guys probably didn't expect to get that many minutes, quality minutes, and I'm wondering, a, how this prepares you going forward as you get ready for the pops, guys now have a lot of experience and confidence, but now you're getting guys back, Carlos is back, I assume Marc Anthony is close and now you have your first team guys back, rested and guys on the bench with a lot of confidence and experience. Seems like a perfect setup you guys?

BOB BRADLEY: We are hoping to be at our best as we move forward here. There's still a ways to go. The reminder is to keep pushing every day and make sure everybody is challenging teammates, encouraging teammates, and that there's always room to improve in little ways.

You know, I'm satisfied that there's enough guys that lead the way and push those thoughts, and we're hoping that we can kind of build on this game when we play Houston mid-week and try to go into the playoffs in a good way in terms of the way we're playing and also in terms of confidence.

Q. You were talking about Carlos and the development, but what can you tell us about him when he went off the bench and he scored a goal and the confidence that a goal can give to Carlos and also for the team because all the players, but the confidence that Carlos can give to the club?

BOB BRADLEY: It means a lot to everybody that Carlos not only gets back on the field after being out for a while, but then scores an excellent goal. It's been really good just to have him back in training. There's been a lot this year. Carlos in the midst of everything though, the great news is still the family news and the birth of his daughter.

So everybody has supported him throughout the process, and we're excited to get him back every day and purpose him and have him really finish the season in a great way.

Q. Danny seems like he's coming into his own and seems like he's hit a good vein of form recently. Is he pushing for even more playing time even with some of the key players coming back up top?

BOB BRADLEY: We are so pleased with Danny's development this year. He's pick up ideas. You see he's got a really good set of skills as a striker. He moves with the ball. He scores different kind of goals. He's good in the air. He's a two-footed striker, so he has the ability to score when he's moving left or right and I think some of his ideas in terms of moving, understanding how he can come off of defenders and create different advantages; you throw a lot of different things, and every striker's got a slightly different range of abilities, and so we have tried to help Danny understand the things that he can do, and help him figure out how to -- how to apply those things, and again, it's been nice to see his contribution and just the way others believe in him. That's been a really important development.

Q. Two-parter, first of all, Tristan Blackman with Carlos returning and the international gets pit off the radar a bit, frustrating injury for him. What was that process like for him to get back to being able to play, and of everyone returning, the six guys who got to get back into it, what's the team spirit like knowing that everyone is there and available?

BOB BRADLEY: Just getting guys back has been a big boost. Makes training better. It means that there's no competition for guys to get on the field.

Tristan worked very hard throughout this process, and we're happy for him. He had a stretch early on where I didn't think his confidence was at the highest level. We started to find ways to play him more and more in the center because when we started this season, our idea was that he would be more of a center back.

He's still someone that we count on, also, as a right back. Everyone knows that. But getting him back on the field, we've worked a little bit where we then had Eddie Segura up as a six, and that gives us a different way to go about things. With about 15 minutes left, we thought that was a good way to finish the game and I thought guys handled the final part of the game in a smart, good way.

Q. You were talking about Carlos and how it is to have him back. I know it's been a difficult time for everybody, also for him and the family side that you mentioned. But what can you describe of how he is every day in training and how he worked to get back and just seeing him come back those 20 minutes and have the amazing finish, kind of picking up where he left? We know the talent he has but what can you say about how he prepares for this moment?

BOB BRADLEY: He's excited. He's always in a good mood and I've said so many times over the last three years, that his personality, his sense of humor just his all-around good way, is important in terms of the chemistry of our group.

He's a leader in a really positive way, and then when you get him back and he's -- MCL injuries are a challenge because even as you make progress, even as you're doing things on the side, the final bit of confidence that comes from doing things in a game, going in for balls, how you stripe certain balls, that takes time. You never know exactly how long that last step takes in terms of confidence.

But it's good to see him. We push him every day. You know, he's still a guy that needs to be challenged and pushed in training. I always talk about the fact that he comes in in a good way, but he's also hard work, too. Getting him to push harder in training, sprint more, be dynamic and not just be a player that plays in a low gear. For him to be at his best, I think he trusts that when we are on him in those ways, it's to help him.

Q. You mentioned already how hard it was to break down a team with ten men, but did you see two different games there, one, 11 versus 11 and the other one 11 versus 10? It was a different LAFC and a different L.A. Galaxy after that?

BOB BRADLEY: No, I think from the start we took the initiative. They were organized even when they had 11 guys, a lot of guys behind the ball. Of course when they go down a man, they make the tactical change. They take Gonzalez off. They play Pavon as the top player; it takes away, certainly, from the attack.

But their overall way of defending against us, where they work very hard, they are always committed in those ways, and that's something that we speak about before we play them.

Q. I know due to the circumstances, there's been a lot of different changes, and you've had a couple players step up on the defensive end. When do you think you're going to have your last set of four in the back line, or is it just going to be on a week-to-week basis?

BOB BRADLEY: I think it's to be determined. It's nice that we've got more options. I would also mention on a day like today, that even though he's only been here a short time, Jesus Murillo adds some real stability in the center. Smart, reads things. Makes good passes. But the flexibility is important, and it says a lot about different guys. I mean, Mohamed El Monir playing as a right back, and has given us a couple of good games. Mo is a guy that everybody really likes, and hasn't always gone exactly his way and the rest of his teammates are always excited to see him contribute.

Q. Having Carlos back and making the quick impact with a spectacular goal, is the team on the level where you want it to be, perhaps in the right time before playoffs? And correct me if I'm wrong; is this the first time you thought Edward, Cifu and Pancho on the midfield; what are your thoughts on their performance?

BOB BRADLEY: There's been so many changes in the midfield this year. I don't remember if it's the first time we started those three. You can check on that.

But certainly in training we work different midfields and I thought those guys played well. Edward missed an important stretch of the season, and regaining confidence and sharpness takes a little bit for him. Pancho is and Cifu are young players that we were excited to work with. Both have developed and contributed and given us some really positive games. That part is something we also feel good about.

It means there's good competition in the midfield, and that's something that we think is important that training is at a high level and we can push things.

Overall, no, we are not at our best. We have guys that have been out for a long time and it would be impossible for them to come back and at the first game or two were at their best; that would be impossible. A few minutes ago, I mentioned Edward and his return to play after the injury versus Orlando, it's taken him awhile to get back to the best level that he can play.

So we've got to keep pushing things along. Can't get ahead of ourselves.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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