It’s the end of an era for LAFC

(News4usonline) – After failing to make the postseason, the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) have moved on from head coach Brob Bradley. LAFC came close to making the playoffs, but a homestand tie with Vancouver and a 5-2 road defeat to Colorado formally ended any hopes LAFC had of playing beyond the regular season.

Bob has been fantastic as the first and only head coach for this Club, LAFC Co-President & General Manager John Thorrington said. “He provided strong leadership and has been a great ambassador for LAFC. Bob helped us develop a winning culture and established a legacy that will always be a part of LAFC’s history.”

In four years under Bradley, LAFC was a mixed bag of success, recording the most points in an expansion season (2018), advancing to the U.S. Open Cup semifinals, and making it all the way to the 2020 Concacaf Champions League Final, among other achievements. Bradley finished his LAFC with a record of 58-34-32.

“It’s been incredible to have played a part in the early history of LAFC,” Bradley said. “From the beginning, there was a real commitment to connect to the city and the fans and we shared some amazing experiences.” 

The experience included witnessing LAFC’s last home game of the 2021 MLS season as the team faced Vancouver.

LAFC versus Vancouver. Photo by Melinda Meijer/News4usonline

LAFC had a lot of shot opportunities in the first half. They were down in the first half in the 14th minute. Latif Blessing had the shot in the 21st minute but missed scoring because of a Bruno Gaspar block. It was another great shot missed. One minute later another good shot was missed by Diego Palacios.

After a pass from Palacios, LAFC missed another great shot, this time from Raheem Edwards.

With a great pass in the final minutes of the first half, Sebastian Ibeagha made a pass to Mamadou Fall for a goal, but it didn’t count because the officials believed he was offside. After the referee checked the VAR and found that Fall wasn’t offside, his goal counted.

In the press conference after the game, Bradly said, “I really liked the way we pushed the game. We just didn’t find a way to get another goal.”

Bradly continued, “You put so much into it, you pushed the game in a really good way and somehow the winner did not come tonight, so we gotta take it and go again in Colorado. And if we do that then I think maybe were going to get a result that goes our way and going to be ready for the playoffs.” 

In the last minute of the second half, Cristian Arago almost made a perfect goal with a header that would have gotten the second goal for LAFC. Arago almost scored the last-minute goal that would have given LAFC the lead and allowed them to win and possibly qualify for the playoffs.     

LAFC versus Vancouver. Photo by Meinda Meijer/News4usonline

Of course, that did not happen. After coming to a draw with Vancouver, LAFC still had an outside chance at the postseason. LAFC needed to finish with 48 points against Colorado. If they did that they could have possibly moved on to the playoffs on a tiebreaker.  

In the first half of the game, LAFC had a total of 13 shots. They also fired off 13 shots in the second half. At the end of the game, LAFC had a total of 26 shots and 11 shots on target with the score at 1-1.

The draw helped LAFC to remain in the play-off berth. With so many shots they scored in one game LAFC had lots of opportunities to score two or more goals. They would have won against Vancouver and had more opportunities to qualify for the playoffs.

This game was supposed to be an LAFC win because they had lots of shot opportunities that they kept on missing. Overall, it was a very good game between the two ballclubs. The good thing is that LAFC didn’t lose this game because it extended their chances to qualify for the MLS playoffs. The team had some hope.

LAFC also could have qualified to make it to the playoffs if they won and LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake and/or Minisoda United lost or played to a draw. Playing to win against the Rapids on the road was going to be tough. That theory proved to be correct.

The Rapids were third in the MLS standings and had already qualified for the playoffs. Since LAFC first joined MLS in 2018 they had not missed the playoffs until this season. After losing a couple of games in September, LAFC had managed to stay in playoff contention by losing a game in October.         

In the end, it was not enough. Missing the postseason essentially cost Bradley his job.

“We are grateful to Bob for his service to LAFC and the city of Los Angeles, “Thorrington said. “He helped lay a foundation for this Club that we will build on as we wish him well in his next chapter. I am confident in our Club and process that we will find the next head coach who will help lead us forward.” 

Featured Image Caption: LAFC versus Vancouver. Photo by Meinda Meijer/News4usonline