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LAFC’s Bob Bradley on Carlos Vela injury: We need to wait and see

Head coach evaluates preseason performance and gives immediate update on star player.

Courtesy of LAFC

Los Angeles Football Club wrapped up their preseason match slate on Saturday after beating Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 at Banc of California Stadium. And head coach Bob Bradley was upbeat after the performance.

“I think we’re ready to start the season,” he told reporters after the game. “I think the first half had some really good stretches, overall. Good tempo, should have had more goals in the first half. Of course in the second half, especially when you make subs, it gets a little sloppy, so I don’t think any of us were satisfied with the finish to the match. But guys have worked hard in preseason and still a good way to finish, important to always get a shutout, so good things.”

Carlos Vela scored the lone goal on the night, a first-half strike that was with his less-used right foot.

But maybe the biggest story coming out of the match was Vela leaving early in the second half, after he sustained contact to his right knee.

Bradley didn’t have much to offer immediately after the game, saying the team would wait to evaluate it.

“It’s the knee, he was protecting the ball and he sort of got hit a bit from the side,” he said. “He’s sore and we just need to see how he looks tomorrow and get it looked at tomorrow,”

In the midfield, Mark-Anthony Kaye and Eduard Atuesta started alongside Lee Nguyen. Bradley was positive about their performance in the tune-up.

“Collectively, the midfield I thought did a really good job,” Bradley said. “The way they found angles when we had the ball, the ability to connect passes before finding the next pass. Defensively, they were on the same page — when one stepped up, others knew where to position themselves. So I thought when we had a good half like that, the midfield had a lot to do with it.”

With a lineup that looked pretty first-choice, Bradley was asked directly if it would be the XI that start on March 3 in the season opener against Sporting Kansas City. Bradley jokingly asked if any manager announces his lineup a week ahead of time, but acknowledged the group he went with against Vancouver looking solid.

“There were enough positives tonight that nobody hurt their status, but then then we get back into the training this week and see where everybody stands.”

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