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July 24, 2021

Bob Bradley

Press Conference

Los Angeles FC 2, Vancouver 2

BOB BRADLEY: Tactically in the first half, I felt we got overrun in the center of the field, so we changed at halftime. I think that part was better. The second half we did a better job of pushing the game.

But there's still too many moments where we hurt ourselves where we were closing down and trying to put pressure to see if we could win a ball back and we commit a silly foul, there's times when late in the game where too many bad passes, so instead of now connecting three and four passes and keep going forward and putting pressure on, we are running 30, 40 yards to put out our fire.

Again, not enough guys had really good days. There's a part where you're behind, and now we've got to push hard to get back into a game. And so there's some credit on that end but overall, not good enough tonight. Not good enough.

Q. What do you make of the substitutions in the second half and what they brought to the table trying to bring that urgency and push the tempo?

BOB BRADLEY: Yeah, we went back in the second half to playing four in the back. I thought it helped us a little bit in terms of how they wanted to step up and press. I think in the first half, we couldn't find the balance of Cifu coming into the midfield enough and making a midfield three.

So the way we changed with Poncho coming into the midfield with Edward and then Cifu with a more clearly defined midfield role, I thought that was time and then Corey came on, so that we had a regular front three. I think tactically it helped us.

I thought early in the half we had a number of big advantages that we just didn't do well enough with, and would have been nice to get to 2-2 even earlier. The play to get the second hole was a good finish and a good finish by Cifu but then late in the game -- see us connect more plays and make more chance, I didn't believe we were sharp enough.

Q. Speaking of Cifu, what have you seen this season? He has a career-high five goals and just tonight the way he was able to contribute to get that point.

BOB BRADLEY: Cifu has been a bright spot. He started the season slowly and didn't arrive in the best of shape and it took awhile to get him fit and to get him confident.

There were early games where he had opportunities to play important passes and he missed too often but little by little you could see hip coming around and in this stretch it's exciting to see him now more confident, pushing himself, giving more to the team and that's something that we're going to keep trying to do moving forward. He's done a good job.

Q. You mentioned tonight was not good enough. What do you feel needs to keep improving for next game?

BOB BRADLEY: There's not enough guys in the first half who have come and away where they are sharp and alert and alive. If you don't have guys engaged on every play; if the game is going 60 miles per hour and you could have guys that are running around and faking that 30, then you have no chance, and even if others are up to speed, you're giving away too much and too many different moments, so the first half on that end, no, we didn't. We didn't have enough guys who are fully engaged in the game.

As I mentioned, I think the tactical flexibility we chose so far has been good and other games where we played three in the back, I think it's been very hard for teams to cross half, we've won a lot of balls -- there was a little of that in the first half but not enough. I thought in the center of the field, we were second to too many because, and that's the reason we changed the way we played at halftime.

Q. Obviously the dynamics of the game controlled this, but not being able to get over the mark and get three goals, what are the things that needed to be sharpened?

BOB BRADLEY: I mean, I say this every press conference. I understand it's a question that everybody's asking, but you know, if we play a ball from one side to the other and we slip a pass to Carlos running into the box on the right side and his first touch is no good, that's a wasted moment.

So if you do things like that 15 times a game, then your possibilities to score more than two goals are zero, and so that's one play with Carlos. But if you look and see what goes on in the game, the timing of plays, the right ball, I'm happy that Cheeky got a good ball and was a good decision to clip them to the back post and a good finish.

But if you look at Cheeky, in all the games this season, when he get the ball attacking on the left and he has an advantages, it happened a couple times early in the second half tonight; if he can't find the right pass, if he hits the ball and it goes right into the defender every time, so when everybody is saying, what can we do, those are the little things that could good teams do.

You get advantages and you choose the right pass. You play a little earlier. You cut it a little bit back. You've got attackers that run harder in the box. You do little things like that that when you create advantages, you finish plays off. So we have not been good enough at those things. If you don't do those things well enough, yes, you can win balls in good positions, you can create a lot of attacking advantage, but you're not going to have enough goals, and so that's that speaks for itself.

That is where we are right now. That part, that's a package of things for each guy: That's concentration, sharpness, fitness. Sometimes if you're not full fitness, then the positive bit that the touch gets away from you is greater.

Look, I can't explain it every week, every week, every week, those are the things. When you watch games, all of you watch; you can take notes, see the plays and then you'll see ask say to me, what happened on this moment and then we can talk about it.

Q. On that slow start, it's your fifth game this month, and then you had the match in Portland on Wednesday; is this the reality of the schedule or do you owe it to something else?

BOB BRADLEY: Owe it to the fact that we didn't have enough guys at the start of the game tonight that were sharp and stuff. The rest is nothing.

Q. The schedule, what you guys have faced, you don't factor that in?

BOB BRADLEY: Of course, when you play a lot of games in a short amount of time and then you're trying to figure out rotations and all those things, yes, you can see on certain nights which guys when the game starts if they have an opportunity to close a guy down; do they go all the way down to make it harder or stop five yards short? Yes, you can see those things.

We thought that we could rotate slightly tonight and really start the game on the front foot and, no, that didn't happen. That didn't happen.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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