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August 4, 2021

Bob Bradley

Press Conference

Sporting KC 4, LAFC 1

BOB BRADLEY: Yeah, Kansas City started fast. Closed things down. Closed our midfield down, so the early parts of the game, you know, there's some little half-moments for both teams but it's not a game where we were able to get any control.

The first goal is a bad one. There's a misunderstanding. Tomas ends up really getting caught, and then we need a really strong response that in a hard game, somehow we've gone down but we let that affect us and now we find ourselves down three. We have a little bit at the end of the half including Raheem's chance that hits the post.

We make changes, start the second half well but again some big chances that we don't do enough win, and in the second half they really get the one chance.

So it's a bad loss. Kansas City played well. We know they are a good team, so as they come in here, our understanding that we need to be at our best, they need to be sharp that they need to try to press us in the same ways that we press teams and for whatever reason, it didn't -- it took us too long to really understand the tempo of the game.

I think as I mentioned, that part picked up in the second half. Probably because they had the lead, their side dropped a little bit and then what you need when you're down like that is to really take advantage of some chances to make the game closer, faster, when you're pushing, and next thing you know, they get one chance and it's up to four and then really at that point you're fighting for pride and respect.

I give our guys credit on that end. I thought that part on the second half was fair enough, but now after 17 games, there's been a lot of days where we played pretty well, but there's two things that come back the most; that's still not efficient enough, not sharp enough when we get attacking chances, and then still hurting ourselves with some big mistakes.

So we've got to really play every game from here on out understanding the detail and getting everybody on board from the beginning of the game. You can't start a game where you've got two, three, four guys that just aren't up to the speed of the game.

Q. Where do you guys feel you came short in the first half when Kansas was attacking with numbers in particular?

BOB BRADLEY: Yeah, they won some balls in the midfield. They attacked very quickly from there, so some transition in some moments. They came at us fast. You know, it's also a game where they had five shots on goal in four goals. So you know, it's not a game where it's just coming at us the whole time but in transition in some key moments, they attack quickly.

In those moments, sometimes it's that we are not good enough with the ball. It's sometimes they have done well to close us and press us and win the ball and go quickly. And then our ability just to defend in transition. I think the third goal was an example of where they didn't do that part well enough.

Q. I know there are no excuses but how difficult is it when you don't have two guys that have been such regulars like Eddie and Murillo, especially when you're facing a team that's leading the western offense?

BOB BRADLEY: Look, Eddie and Murillo are good players, important players, but we have defended well as a team all year. So there's no excuses.

Q. Lastly, some of the positives you mentioned, seeing some of the young guys make an impact late in the game, having options moving forward, what does that mean?

BOB BRADLEY: It's important. Especially with Eddie's injury, getting 45 minutes tonight, that's very important. Still at times some depth at right back, so Alvaro gets his first crack at things.

So those are things that you could see over the course of the first half of the season, guys making progress, and tonight becomes important that those guys get opportunity. I thought Poncho came on at halftime and the second half gave a good effort. So those are some of the positive.

And goal by Danny Musovski, so that's also a positive.

Q. Is there any clarity or any update on the severity Murillo's injury going forward?

BOB BRADLEY: It's not too bad. So I can't tell you what that means for Sunday. But it's a minor hamstring strain that we, of course, in this period of the season, need to be very careful with. But we don't believe it's an injury that will keep him out for a long period of time.

Q. And then secondly, obviously just the fact of dropping points in general is worrying, but is it added pressure, the fact that you have been dropping points, or is it the losses piling up?

BOB BRADLEY: Yeah, it's never good to drop points at home. So when you sum up everything in the first half of the season, that's certainly an area that isn't good enough. And so our ability at home, two games -- two games recently where we got behind not just by a goal but by multiple goals.

I mentioned at the beginning that you can take the initiative in the game; we didn't tonight, but you can. That doesn't guarantee that you'll score first. And so if somehow you give up the first goal, your ability as a team to respond immediately at that moment and make sure that there's a real push to get to 1-1 but in a way that doesn't allow the other team that chance to take it to two. And so that's an area that we've talked about.

And again, tonight, it's not only two, but it's three.

Q. I wanted to ask on Latif Blessing, I know he wasn't on the injury report and he wasn't also available for you guys tonight.

BOB BRADLEY: Yeah, personal situation for Latif. So we're working with him on that.

Q. Do you think he'll be available for the next game?

BOB BRADLEY: I can't say at this time.

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