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LAFC get no closure, but chance for redemption, in 2020

Champions League looms and LAFC will look to get right for that.

Los Angeles FC v Seattle Sounders: Round One - MLS Cup Playoffs Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Los Angeles Football Club crashed out of the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs on Tuesday, after losing 3-1 to the Seattle Sounders at Lumen Field.

Normally, that would mean the season is done, screeching to an abrupt halt, nothing left to do in a given campaign, but 2020 is not a normal year, and LAFC still have a competition to play in, the Concacaf Champions League in three weeks, when they have a win-or-go-home game against Liga MX outfit Cruz Azul.

As a result, the reflections on a frustrating season for the club were put off, because the season isn’t totally in the books just yet.

“The process of getting better never stops,” head coach Bob Bradley told reporters Tuesday in the postgame press conference. “So, we’ve done that after every game, win or lose. And the fact that we are now knocked out of MLS playoffs doesn’t stop us from now trying to push our team forward and it seems like a long time ago, the two games with León. Obviously the home game was a special night for us before COVID hit, a night where we could really celebrate a great game with our fans. And so, the final part of Concacaf [Champions League], as everyone knows, is in Orlando, but it’s still an opportunity to continue on that tournament so we’ll prepare ourselves and go for it and as always see if we can be a little bit better.”

Midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye made the start and went the distance in the loss to Seattle, the midfielder a question mark coming in after he suffered an ankle injury several weeks back. Kaye’s demeanor was more downbeat than Bradley’s while taking questions, but he also seemed to take heart in there being one more chance at redemption.

“We’re gonna figure out how we’re going to get back into training and to regroup and just continue the work we do every day. We have an opportunity to win a trophy, which, you know, a lot of MLS teams are fighting for one right now and we have opportunity to fight for another, so we need to put all our focus towards that. And we’re excited because it’s a real opportunity,” he said to reporters.

LAFC will play Cruz Azul in Orlando on Dec. 15 or 16. The Mexican side are in the playoffs this week, so both teams will be looking for glory and just three games to lift the CCL trophy this year for each of them. It certainly won’t be easy, but LAFC will aim to put off the season postmortems as long as they can in 2020, and they have one more shot of doing just that.

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