Let’s be honest, this is awkward. Even though years of following sports tells you it will happen eventually, you’re never prepared for it. For the first time since their MLS arrival, LAFC are bad. Okay, maybe bad is too harsh a term. They haven't consistently put on poor performances, but rather, have had poor moments dictate results.
Unfortunately, sports are a results-based business, and as it stands LAFC are on the outside looking in with regards to the playoffs. With that, comes the growing sentiment from fans that a change at head coach is needed. For those who are part of the “out” crowd, I wouldn't hold my breath. LAFC aren't completely out of the playoff race, and with 15 games left in the season the chances of anyone being fired now seem slim. However, you may get your wish next year when you consider recent reporting from The Athletic.
They point out that this is Bob Bradley’s final season under contract with LAFC. While the team could announce an extension tomorrow, the fact they apparently haven't worked one out already is intriguing. It was LAFC co-president Larry Freedman who famously said “we play for keeps.” It’s no secret LAFC are an organization that wants to win, and win now. The roster was built to win, talent acquired since have been towards improving, and even the appointment of Bradley himself was a statement hire. Let's not forget, Bradley led an expansion side to an MLS Cup once before.
This season hasn't been great, and as the winless streak grows, so too does the frustration, and not just amongst fans.
“We have to keep working. Honestly, I don't want to lose more, I'm tired [of] losing so we have to change this situation, change this stretch, and keep working.” That was Carlos Vela after the loss to Atlanta United. That’s what makes this so awkward, from coaches to players, they know it’s been a rough year. They know where they sit in the playoff race, and they know things need to change if they want to even have a chance at salvaging the season.
The fact is, if Bradley hit the open market, it would take him, maybe, five minutes to find another job. That’s because he is a great coach, not a good coach, a great one. We also know this LAFC team is talented. As the saying goes, “on their day” they can beat everyone. The problem has been getting them to that level again. Whether Bob can provide enough to spark the dying embers, or whether the team needs a change of voice, a fresher approach, remains to be seen. I know this, we’ll find out a whole lot more in the next 15 games.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.