Los Angeles Football Club are “nowhere near” where they should be, according to head coach Bob Bradley ahead of their clash with Vancouver Whitecaps.
The visitors are winless in six games and are on a three-match losing streak, slipping down to eighth in the Western Conference after losing 1-0 to Atlanta United.
Bradley’s men have not missed out on the playoffs since joining MLS in 2018 and the head coach appreciates they need an upturn in form.
“None of us are happy about the spot we are in at the moment,” Bradley said ahead of the trip to Vancouver. “We’re nowhere near where we should be.
“There’s fifteen games (left), I repeat all the time there’s football details. There’s sharpness of football players, thinking – improvement comes in all those ways.
“There’s a lot of things that look good, but we haven’t been the sharpest in key moments, in attack and defense, so that’s the focus.”
Vancouver, in contrast, have been climbing the table and finally ended their run of five consecutive draws with a 2-1 win over Austin FC last time out.
That win on the road takes them up to 11th, four points off the playoffs and extended their unbeaten run to seven games.
“We believe here,” Dos Santos said after the Austin game.”For us to be in the top 7, there are just games that we have to accept the challenge in games, and just go for it, and this was one of those games.
“For us, the most important thing was to give hope to our fans and when you’re in the run that we’re on it means that we’re building something.
“We want to give the fans hope because they deserve it for the support they’ve given us.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Vancouver Whitecaps – Brian White
In the absence of the injured Lucas Cavallini, Brian White has been tasked with leading the line. The forward ended a 10-game blank streak to secure the winner against Austin and he could be the man to down the visitors.
Los Angeles Football Club – Jesus David Murillo
Bradley is likely to revert back to a three-man defense and Jesus David Murillo will be integral to those plans. The away side have not kept a clean sheet in seven games, an issue Murillo will be tasked with fixing.
KEY OPTA FACTS
·The Whitecaps have collected four points in their last two matches against Los Angeles FC, including a 2-2 away draw on July 24. LAFC had won the previous two meetings between the sides by a combined 12-1.
·The Whitecaps are unbeaten in seven straight matches (W2 D5) following a 2-1 win at Austin FC on Wednesday. The Whitecaps can tie the longest unbeaten run-in club history, a run of eight games from April to June 2014, if they avoid defeat against LAFC.
·Los Angeles FC has lost three matches in a row for the first time in club history and has gone six straight matches without a victory (D2 L4), the longest winless run-in team history.
·Both Whitecaps goals in their comeback win over Austin on Wednesday were scored in the second half. Sixteen of the Whitecaps’ 21 goals this season have been scored after halftime (76%), only Inter Miami (78%) has scored a higher percentage of its goals in the second half this season.
·LAFC’s 1-0 loss at Atlanta United on Saturday marked just the second time they failed to score in their last 30 matches dating back to late September. Los Angeles FC has gone consecutive games without scoring just once in the club’s MLS history, in early September 2020.