Bob Bradley knows it is on him to get Los Angeles FC back onto the winning trail as they head into the final eight regular-season games involved in a playoff tussle.
LAFC have lost their last two matches, with mistakes early in each half their downfall in a 2-0 reverse to San Jose Earthquakes last time out.
Next up is the Portland Timbers, who sit seven points above LAFC in the Western Conference after a thumping 6-1 win over Real Salt Lake at the weekend.
“In a big game you can’t start each half with bad mistakes. Overall in all categories we just weren’t good enough,” reflected Bradley after LAFC’s loss to San Jose.
“Not enough intensity, not sharp, can’t make a football play when it matters. Look, when you get to this time of the year and you’re in big games and come up empty like that, I’ll start with myself, it wasn’t good enough.
“I’ve got to do everything I can to get these guys ready to go after the last eight games because tonight we let everyone in the club down, let our fans down and that’s not good enough.”
Portland coach Giovanni Savarese, meanwhile, knows the Timbers still have work to do despite their trashing of RSL.
“We were very good and precise in taking advantage of the opportunities that we had. For us we needed a result like this, to get a better average, to get a better feeling,” he said.
“There’s still areas we need to improve, still areas that we need to be better. But it was a result that makes us feel very good.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
LAFC – Cristian Arango
Cristian Arango has scored four goals in his three games at Banc of California Stadium, finding the net in all three games.
Portland Timbers – Yimmi Chara
Yimmi Chara was one of the six Portland players to score against RSL, while the winger also created a team-leading three chances.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– The last player to score in each of his first four home games in MLS was Mamadou Diallo, who scored in his first six home games with the Tampa Bay Mutiny in April-June 2000. That is the record Arango is hunting.
– An MLS record 11 different Timbers players contributed to at least one goal in their 6-1 win over Real Salt Lake, including goal contributions from four of the five substitutes, also an MLS record.
– Portland has won both matches against Los Angeles FC this season and is unbeaten in four straight against LAFC (W2 D2). Only LA Galaxy, from March 2018 to August 2019, have avoided defeat in five straight matches against LAFC in MLS play.
– LAFC’s 2-0 defeat at San Jose on Saturday as its 11 th loss of the season, its most in a single season in club history (including playoffs). Six of those defeats have come in the club’s last 10 games going back to the beginning of August (W3 D1).
– The Timbers tied a club record with six goals in their win over Real Salt Lake on Saturday. It was the first time Portland netted six goals at Providence Park as its previous two six-goal games were on the road (at San Jose and LA Galaxy, both in 2020).