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Bob Bradley says LAFC “pretty close” to having roster to kick off 2021 season

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Don’t expect big moves in the coming weeks, in other words.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Los Angeles FC Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It was the first official day of LAFC preseason on Monday, and head coach Bob Bradley had a shoutout for International Women’s Day.

“Let’s start with the fact that today is International Women’s Day,” Bradley said at the top of his first media availability of the year. “We look around the world and there’s so many examples of women that have done incredible things.”

Bradley even had his own top five women athletes list at the ready.

“I’m sorry that I’ll miss some, but I’m going to quickly say that I’ve always been incredibly impressed with Venus and Serena Williams, Lisa Leslie, Allyson Felix, and Christen Press. Those are my big five shoutouts for the day,” Bradley said.

Obviously, the questions Bradley fielded Monday were about preseason and LAFC, and with the same coach and most of the same squad intact, the message remained the same as it’s been since the club launched.

“We’re always looking to improve ourselves,” Bradley said. “When [Jesús David Murillo] arrived last year, very quickly, he established himself as a central defender, a presence, a really good guy, a leader. So it worked out in an excellent way that we could then pick up his option and bring him back here. We’re always looking to find good pieces to challenge guys. I think this just In the whole team creates competition, and we’re excited about that. And so we’re trying always to get better, the more competition that goes on every day, the better training is. The way guys push each other for time on the field, that happens in really good teams and so we’re just trying to continue to to push forward in that direction.”

Having said that, Bradley was asked “how close” the LAFC roster was to being set to start the season, and he responded, “I think at the beginning of the season the roster is pretty close.” Bradley mentioned the real shopping may happen in the summer, with the implicit domino of Brian Rodriguez’s future at LAFC hanging in the balance, the attacker currently on loan at Spanish second-division side Almería until the end of the season there with the possibility of being sold on permanently.

As for the season to come, the coach said he hasn’t seen a full schedule for the campaign, citing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as likely holding up the schedule being finalized and released ahead of the expected Apr. 17 start date.

“I have not seen a full schedule for some ideas as to how the schedule will look,” he said. “In terms of whether other parts of the year are more regional or how much of it is going to be across the league, obviously last year, as we know, played regionally, you play the same teams over and over. The fact that we’ve not seen it yet probably still plays to the fact that the situation with the pandemic with the vaccine, with the different variants suggests it’s still changing. And so we don’t spend much time on that because there’s still too many questions, too many unknowns.”

And so, LAFC will worry about getting themselves right ahead of the 2021 season.

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