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August 28, 2021

Bob Bradley

Press Conference

Los Angeles FC 3, LA Galaxy 3

BOB BRADLEY: Really feel for the guys tonight. That's a tough game to tie. Feels like a loss. But it's also especially tough because I thought there are a lot of positives. I loved our response after going down. I thought that generally in terms of just pushing a game, everybody engaged in a good way. There were so many things to take away, a lot of really good performances. Awesome to see Brian get two goals and be so dangerous. I thought Cifu was up another level tonight.

So overall, I see positives, but you can't call it a step forward to the end of a game like that.

Q. There's so much to unpack from this game. I thought this was one of the really great games in the series, but I know it doesn't feel that way in your locker room. Where do you go from here? What is the next step?

BOB BRADLEY: Well, the next step is building on what we do every day, and so I told everybody that, look, this isn't the step we wanted, but there's positives and I make sure to understand what those little things are and that they realize that when they are all that committed in the game, when they are helping each other, when physically they are pushing their limits;.

I didn't think when we got around the box in the first half, I didn't think we were sharp. I thought there were too many times we got up near the box, and passes -- we played some little chip balls into the box at bad times when we should have made another pass; the timing of some plays, and then our shooting in the first half was terrible.

But then I thought we sharpened a lot of those things up in the second half, and overall I saw a lot of guys really give everything and I saw a team that's under pressure, we know that, respond incredibly well at 1-0 and when it got it 2-2 another push to get to 3-2. Great to get three goals. The next step there is when you get them to 3-2, can you get to 4.

Q. You talked during the midweek about availability of Carlos and moments that he's been able to have; it felt like that Brian goal would be one of those moments and the way ton folded, can you talk about the goal and the atmosphere today and how everything unpacked, this crazy game, as it usually is?

BOB BRADLEY: Let me just talk about Brian. I mentioned a few times lately how he's really open now to understanding little things that we think help him improve. His mentality has been good. His attitude has been good. There's some little technical things that we challenge him to do better. I'm on him all the time to see situations and make better decisions on the ball.

And tonight, like I'm so happy for him. You know, the first goal he scored is just showing skill in the box and then an incredible finish, and then he gets another one after that. So for me, I'm hoping that it's a big, important moment for him getting to the next step and being a player that we all know he can be.

Q. What could you say about just this rivalry in general that allows it to be so, I guess, frantic? I don't know what even the right word is to describe it but what allow it is to be as entertaining from the beginning?

BOB BRADLEY: I mean, look, it starts always on our end when we go into these games where we are going to try to take our football and make sure that that's out there; that we are trying to win goals, go forward quickly, create chances. And then, of course, find good ways to make it hard on them and defend.

And in a lot of the games, the two teams get after each other, push the limits. The fans are into it, and then you see a really good match. So this is certainly another one.

So many of these matches, look, we have had too many tough moments. Man, I'm not going back through them all, but moments where we played well and moments where we managed to let something go that was certainly the very first one in history. There was the lockdown special; there was the night where we had the back pass late in the game and they scored. So still, it's on us sometimes because I think in many of these games, in terms of pushing things, creating chances, I think we've been pretty good.

Physically we have had games against them where we haven't competed on completely even terms physically; that they had a really hard edge and it threw us off. I thought on that end tonight, we did really well. And you know, when I say physically and pushing things, it's not just going in on 50/50 balls. It's making sure your attackers are ready to try to go by defenders and really threaten them.

I thought Brian and Diego did a really good job of that, and a young defenders like Julian Araujo, he's a good player, he's a good defender. But I thought we had times where we really tried to go by him and tested him, and then you get a good game where, okay, sometimes he wins the battle, sometimes we win the battle. Obviously he's also a fullback, goes forward. So that involves us being able to defend him on the other end. But when you get those type of situations all over the field, then I think that's where you get a good game.

Q. I know you can't call this a step forward, and six goals, these games never disappoint. I know you subbed in Chicho in the 81st minute, and then after that, Greg Vanney adjusted, he went with the back three and five on the midfield. Were you surprised how quickly he was able to adjust to that?

BOB BRADLEY: We expected them to go to that late in the game anyway. We still had the opportunity because Cifu plays high at times, so we still have opportunities there. We understood that that at times late in the game, that's what they like to do. They like to cross the ball. You know, they had guys in the half-spaces so that we felt that we could deal with them our midfield and still be able to get out to Nico and to Arango easier. I think we had people in good position. We just didn't make a play. The rest I think we understood was coming.

Q. You probably had your best performance but now you're going to lose Brian who had a spectacular game and Cifu and the rest of the international players moving forward?

BOB BRADLEY: Yeah, for Kansas City, we're missing guys. We knew all along that this international break, guys will be missing. I've said it many times. I think we've had a lot of games where still anyone who has watched us from the start sees football and says, that's LAFC, and yet, as we've done that, we haven't taken advantage of the chances we create.

Tonight we had a lot of chances and three goals is a step up, but man, there's more there. And there's moments where we need against teams to be able to make a play, a timely play defensively, whether that's a reaction, whether that's taking care of transition earlier, whether that's a save. Overall there's been moments where we've seen a very good LAFC team that doesn't quite get what it should because in key situations, we've not been as good as we have in the past and we have to keep just making sure that that part gets to our level.

Q. Chiqui, how do you see him in this game and is he going to stay in the club?

BOB BRADLEY: I was very proud of Chiqui (Diego Palacios) tonight. He had a play in the first half where his knee was bothering him, but he came off -- he told the physios that he could at least get to halftime. At halftime, he said, no, I want to keep going. And he pushed himself. I thought he had a strong second half and then he said no, I need to come off.

We'll look at him and assess the knee and that will be a discussion with Ecuador, so I don't know.

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