Bob Bradley: LAFC Didn’t Play “Our Sharpest Football” in MLS is Back Tournament Exit


LAFC head coach Bob Bradley was remarkably straightforward after his team rebounded from the quarterfinals of the MLS return tournament, losing in a penalty shootout against Orlando City.The defending Fan Shield champions went without a shot until a Bradley Wright-Phillips goal in the 60th minute, and failed to see the game over when their former SuperDraft No.1 pick Joao Moutinho, came home with an equalizer in the 90th minute on a corner kick. .

“I think you could see from the start that physically we weren’t at our best tonight,” Bradley said. “So that’s a lot of games in a short period of time. We chatted at half-time to see if we could raise the level a bit. We were doing. But it was definitely not our most intense night of football either.

The Black & Gold faced a four-day rollover after their emotional 4-1 win over the Seattle Sounders in the round of 16, and Wright-Phillips noted the tight window. He had a solid tournament with four goals in five matches, brilliant after the withdrawal of Carlos Vela (family reasons) and the early departure of Adama Diomande (foot injury).

“It was obviously something that maybe the games were building,” Wright-Phillips said. “I’m not really sure, but not every player was as sharp as possible. It clearly showed in the first half. This is the reason why we did not get the desired result. I think if we are sharp we win this game.

LAFC were frantic before meeting Orlando, scoring no less than two goals in their previous four tournament games. Diego Rossi, who leads the Golden Boot race presented by Audi with seven goals, was dropped from the scoresheet despite helping BWP’s tally.

Asked what made Orlando so successful – LAFC failed to score a half-time goal for the first time in its brief club history – Bradley focused more on his team’s shortcomings as ‘they were tackling another disappointing elimination in the round of 16.

“They play some balls forward towards [Tesho] Akindele. They have some ideas on how to build the back. I think [Mauricio] Pereyra is a good player, ”Bradley said. “So they are improving as a team, but it’s not easy for me to assess the other team on a night where I’m disappointed that I couldn’t have been at our best. It is not something that is easy to give a good answer to. ”

The difference in the PK shootout was Jordan Harvey’s fault, as the veteran left-back scratched his attempt on the crossbar. LAFC goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer couldn’t speak of heroism, after the Dutch newcomer brilliantly stopped Nani’s penalty attempt in the 57th minute of regulation. Nani and Vermeer would face off again on the final shootout kick, and this time, Nani would make amends for his previous failure.

Tensions were high at the end of the match with words exchanged between the two teams, but Wright-Phillips was not about to add fuel to this post-match conversation: “It doesn’t even matter. importance. It doesn’t matter. You saw him. Congratulation to. their. ”

This leaves LAFC awaiting the next steps in the 2020 regular season, knowing that their failure to maintain a 1-0 lead ended their stay at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.

“We just didn’t do enough on the whole pitch,” Wright-Phillips said. “We weren’t alert enough. Our reactions were not great. We still did enough to achieve a goal, and I think we just have to see it there. “


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