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October 26, 2021

Bob Bradley

Press Conference

LAFC 3, Seattle 0

BOB BRADLEY: Team played with great intensify, first half, especially, in terms of collective moment, closing things down. Really reacting to loose balls, being on top of things, playing quickly. So we were all really pleased with that. A few hiccups in the second half a little bit on set piece defending, but all in all it's a great win.

A lot of guys stepped up. I thought our midfield three tonight, given the guys that are out, having to move Chiqui into the midfield where he's played a little bit, Raheem into more of a role as an eight and Latif, but the three in terms of closing thing down, moving from inside out, closing things down on sidelines, their intensity I think really set the tone for the rest of the team.

And then when we needed it in the second half, Jamal made a couple of big saves. So that was really important for us as well. We've got to take this, and now we have a week after this busy stretch and get ready for a really important game next Tuesday against Vancouver.

Q. A little bit more what you were saying, seeing the team like this in the final stretch, how much confidence does it give you, the way they were sharp and the clean sheet?

BOB BRADLEY: Those are all important things to see. You push guys and you want them to see little details that can help us improve. I spoke a lot about the first half and just the collective moment, something that allows us to raise the tempo of the game. Play quickly.

And then in moments when we are not pressing, I think we did a good job of being compact so that we are still difficult to break down. It's a game where we made it hard on the other team, which is certainly one of the things that you want to do in important games.

But the ball, a lot of quick, simple ball movement, you know, and getting guys going forward in good ways.

So again, for me, it's the collective effort and that's -- you know, that's what you need this time of year. You need everybody on board and everybody really giving everything they have. Great to see.

Q. What about Carlos's return, the excitement in the stadium?

BOB BRADLEY: Yeah, that part, we were all so excited to get Carlos back on the field, and you're right, you could hear it in the stadium. He's such a special player. He's been such an important part of what's gone on here since the very beginning, captain, obviously a special player. So that's great. We still need more time to keep pushing him along, so that's a first step.

Q. You talked so much in the last stretch about little details. What are your thoughts on the defensive performance today? Seemed like today they were pretty well happened willing the pressure, and like you guys said, you made it harder for Seattle but what did you think about the defensive performance?

BOB BRADLEY: Other than the Kansas City game at home, I think in terms of being in sync defensively, that part has been good all year. I think we have hurt ourselves at times with mistake where is we lose track of a guy on a cross, that kind of thing. We've been a team that throughout most of the year has been hard to play against, and yet, we still, even though we don't give up many chances, we still give up some big ones. A lot of them come on first-time chances where both get played in and we just lost someone. You know, I think that that part is something where we have to continue to improve.

But tonight is a good effort in the moments where we slipped a little bit, Jamal came through. I mentioned set piece defending. It's been pretty good throughout the last year but in the last game or two, there's been little cracks and we have to buckle down and make sure we take care of some of those items.

Q. On the Atuesta injury, I know he's been dealing the ankle and he has the shoulder injury. Is there any clarification on what's ailing him and what the timeline looks on him being back?

BOB BRADLEY: You have to remember, he first did his ankle and he missed a game or two. And then he came back, so I think he did his ankle against Salt Lake, and then came back for the Galaxy, and that's when he hurt his shoulder.

Initially he was out where the shoulder was very painful and we were just trying to get it stronger to where he could get back on the field and take some contact. And as he started working his way back on training -- in training, he reinjured his ankle.

So right now, the shoulder is making progress but I would say more than anything, the reinjury of the ankle has caused the setback the most.

Q. I want to ask you about Carlos's return. How important is this situation to have him back, and on the road for the matches against Vancouver and Colorado?

BOB BRADLEY: Look, I said it earlier, Carlos is a special player and a special art of our club. Everybody looks up to him for being a leader, for being a captain and for being a great guy. And so having him back is so important.

I've always said that when a player misses a good period of time, and I haven't counted lately, but somewhere in the neighborhood of like ten weeks, that when they start to get back into training and you get them on the field, you also have to be very smart with how you move them along. We are hopeful that we can keep building on it.

Tonight was just to get him back, it was also a way of really thanking our fans and letting them know that Carlos is working hard and wants to be on the field, and now we'll see between now and next Tuesday how much progress we can make.

Q. I know that this is something that we've been seeing throughout this season, but especially tonight, I felt like Moon was playing centrally noticeably more. What are benefits of having your fullback or wingback play, and what does Moon offer when he plays this role, as opposed to having him play strictly out wide?

BOB BRADLEY: Yeah, tonight we set up in, I guess you'd call it a 3-5-2, and in different moments we were able to get Latif and Raheem to be able to move from inside/outside, both defensively and when we had the ball, and then having your wingbacks step inside to receive certain passes, also to come inside in pressing situations. You know, I think we were able to force some plays inside and close things down quickly and then that also leads to transition.

For me, I thought Marco and Moon did a very good job on that side of things tonight. You know, Seattle all year has been playing with wingbacks and Alex Roldan and Brad Smith and Meldranda, these guys have been very important players in the way they play.

When our wingbacks can close situations down, first play is the middle, when they can come inside to receive certain passes, it helps us -- it helps us find ways to get forward quickly and that's something that we work on.

I thought Moon had a good game tonight. I thought his intensity was at a real good level and I'm always hopeful that we can keep pushing him because he's got some great football ideas and instincts, and now understanding some of the things we do and bringing, you know, that type of intensity all the time. I tease him sometimes and say, look, if we keep working hard, maybe when you look at teams like Liverpool, that kind of intensity that they have all the time, we are trying to prepare guys to be really successful here, but prepare them that if they get a chance at another level, that they understand what that intensity is all about. I don't think he's picking up on that and tonight is a really good effort.

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