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October 28, 2020

Bob Bradley

Press Conference

Los Angeles Football Club 2, Houston Dynamo 1

BOB BRADLEY: Yeah, it's always good to take three points, but I didn't believe we played well. I think the second half, not just the second half, I don't think we played well. We scored goals early. We were very careless, casual. Spoke about it at halftime. Started the second half immediately allowed Houston right back into the game. Not enough guys really taking responsibility, being sharp enough.

So tonight has got to be a game that we look at as a lesson. We've got two regular-season games left, and we've got to be harder on each other. We've got to raise the bar a little bit because that kind of game, that sloppiness, that carelessness, end much the year when games really matter, that won't hold up.

Q. Obviously you clinched a playoff bench and you've been there before. Was there just not much to celebrate tonight both with, as you said, the careless play, and then you do have the one player that tested positive for COVID, that may be a little bit of a preoccupation. Is this just the first step on what you hope is going to be a much longer journey and no reason to celebrate that?

BOB BRADLEY: There's no celebrations tonight.

Yes, we had a positive test. Our player was retested again today. We'll wait for more information. Guys have done an excellent job throughout this whole thing, and so the club is doing all the right things, and hopefully we can move forward with that. And again, we have high standards, and I don't think a game like tonight is good enough in any way. Two regular season matches left, you've really got to try to hit the playoffs with confidence, with sharpness and with a mentality that we're a team that's going to fight every game, play our football, compete, and try to move and get ourselves to a final and win an MLS Cup. So we were pretty critical after the game inside the locker room tonight because it's a message that everyone has to understand.

Q. We've been told that Pablo has made a right leg injury on Sunday versus LAFC. Do you expect to have him back this weekend and can you elaborate more on his injury?

BOB BRADLEY: We don't think it's anything bad but he felt a little something during the Galaxy game when we checked him out. As a precaution, we felt we needed to keep him out tonight. I also would give a lot of credit to Kenneth Vermeer. He made a couple of really big saves, including a penalty.

So I know that his attitude, he's been great with Pablo throughout and I think all of us were excited for him to come back into the team and play well.

But the decision not to play Pablo was precautionary.

Q. And I know we saw Carlos Vela play 30 minutes. Assuming you're going to increase his minutes as the games go on?

BOB BRADLEY: Yes, that's the plan. Try to go step-by-step.

Q. I asked you in the last days about these games that in soccer, in football, all people say that the last games of the regular season can be taken as a final, as another tournament. How are you taking this next game for the L.A. Galaxy? Obviously having that playoff spot, and you can tell me what happened with Diego Palacios with the discussion on the pitch when the game ended?

BOB BRADLEY: I was just speaking to him about certain plays where I think he can do better. Sometimes right after the game is a good time to let players know. Cheeky is a player that has talent but his commitment at times, his mentality at times, can be at a better level. And so I was making that point to him. The last two games are still very important, the opportunity to try to still move up. You're fighting for home games so that when you get into the playoffs, your position can help you move forward.

So we're still trying to use each game with important details on how we can be a better team.

Q. You said earlier this year, a lot of times about keeping the team focused and trying to really work on the mental side with all the different obstacles you guys have going on. But having a game like today and having a bit of a longer conversation after the game, do you feel like there's a sense that you have that the team is really able to get into that mindset knowing that you have these last two games, and the players are coming around unusual as one would think?

BOB BRADLEY: We can do it for sure, but tonight I wanted to be very clear. Different times, we've shown an understanding of all of the unique factors of this season. But I also wanted to be clear tonight that we have to have really high standards, because we are a very good team. This season has not gone as well as it could have but we've got playoffs for MLS Cup and we still have CONCACAF Champions League.

Tonight I made sure everybody understood we have to raise the standards and we have to push each other. That's the only way we can be a team to win some trophies as the year finishes up.

Q. First of all, congratulations on the playoffs' clinch, and I want to take my time to offer my empathy and support whoever is on COVID. This has been a tough year.

BOB BRADLEY: Thanks very much.

Q. You said this was not the best game for your team. What other things do you want -- you're welcome. What are the things that you want to see on future games for your team? The areas you want --

BOB BRADLEY: Oh, come on. You guys can see these things. ^ I want the passing to be sharper. When we have advantages, I want to finish chances. When we lose balls, I want reactions to be faster. There were so many times in the first half, every time we stepped up to press, we were late and they played right through us.

So if you have plays where guys are coming in second or late, touches are bad, passes aren't sharp enough, advantages that don't lead to big chances and goals, those are all things that, you know, this is how you become a really good team. We've been able to do that at times but tonight there was very little of any of that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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