Despite the four-goal turnaround during the first installment of El Trafico, Los Angeles Football Club now has to have a quick case of amnesia and look ahead to Atlanta United.
Defender and team captain Laurent Ciman said that is exactly what he is trying to do.
”The importance of my role is to make sure that we forget as fast as we can,” Ciman said after training Tuesday with assistant coach Marc Dos Santos translating.
And, he’s right.
Yes, the loss stings. Because it was the first loss for the team. Because it was against their rivals. But because there are so many more games left, the team cannot let one game define the rest of the season.
The first El Trafico has been dissected so much over the last few days. Ranging from LAFC’s letdown to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s debut and stunning two goals that turned the tide – both of which nauseated me as well.
But, it’s time for the team to get past it. Dwelling on it isn’t going to change the team’s fortunes. It isn’t going to overshadow the start to the season the team has had. It’s not going to take away from just how well this team has gelled in just three games.
“We have to stay realistic to everything that happened. We played 60 very good minutes that we were in control. And then there were 30 minutes where we have to go back, review, and make sure those minutes don’t happen again,” Ciman said. “It’s part of a growth as a team. My role as captain is to make sure that everybody understands that.”
The season doesn’t come to a grinding halt because we let one slip through our fingers. Patrick said it right when he suggested that Bob Bradley has to use the loss as a teaching tool … motivation … whatever, but not something the team sits back and continuously thinks about.
I have confidence they won’t. These players are professionals, and this is not the first time any of them have tasted adversity.
Let Zlatan be Zlatan. His ego is something they can deal with in Carson because it has little impact on LAFC.
Now, the focus has to be on Atlanta. This is a team that serves as a model for every first-year team. They came out in their first season and earned a spot in the playoffs. Now, after losing their season-opener, they have rattled off three straight wins an are just four points adrift of Eastern Conference leaders New York City FC.
They are on a streak and we are playing in their house – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – a place that is not kind to any visitors.
So, the message here is for supporters to put things in perspective. Realize there is a lot of football still on the table and we still have a lot of things to be happy about.
LAFC’s front line is one of the best in the league – one of only six teams in the league averaging two or more goals so far this season – and the defense has been much better than a lot of us anticipated it would be.
So as the captain says, on to the next one.
What do you think? Post your comment below!