The Los Angeles Football Club got its first victory in six tries over city rival the Los Angeles Galaxy at the time it mattered most: the playoffs.
LAFC, led by Carlos Vela, defeated the Galaxy, 5-3, in Thursday night’s “El Tráfico' and advanced to the club’s first Western Conference final. Vela put LAFC ahead in the 16th minute and added another before halftime. He assisted on a Diego Rossi goal in the 66th minute to put the team ahead for good.
Bradley tells reporter to ‘get lost’
It should have been a celebratory postgame TV interview given the crowning achievement of overcoming the Zlatan Ibrahimović-led team that defeated it all five times they met.
Instead, LAFC head coach Bob Bradley took a different approach when ESPN sideline reporter Sebastian Salazar teed up an opportunity to speak glowingly about his star.
Salazar: People have asked questions about Carlos Vela in big games. What can you say about his performance this evening?
Bradley: “Who asks those questions?”
S: “Over the course of his career, those questions have been asked.”
B: “Have they been asked this year?”
S: “How many big games have you had this year?”
B: “Why would we ask that question ... I don’t think [it’s a fair question]. For this season? Get lost.”
Bradley walked away and shot a look back at the interview area.
Bradley mentions Vela needing to improve
As Salazar later noted on Twitter, Bradley has faced questions about his captain’s leadership and big performances before. The 2019 Sigi Schmid Coach of the Year was the one who told Salazar ahead of the season he wanted to see more out of his star in the bigger games.
'Who asked those questions?' - Bob Bradley, last night
'Carlos can still be better...in the biggest games, when you're that kind of attacking player, you've got to find a way' - Bob Bradley, earlier this year, asking more of Vela in 'biggest games'#LAFCvLA #LAFC #receipts #MLS https://t.co/MRKTqWyq5Y
— Sebastian Salazar (@SebiSalazarFUT) October 25, 2019
Vela set a single-season record with 34 goals and had 15 assists in 2019. He had an incredible year, and it’s not over yet. Bradley could have easily used the question, which he seemed to have posed himself at some points, to praise the star after one of the biggest games in league history. Given his comments before the season started, he could have said anything along the lines of “he made a difference in a huge game for us and that’s what we wanted him to develop this year.”
Instead, he told a reporter to “get lost.”
The conference semifinal is Tuesday when LAFC will host the Seattle Sounders.
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