Bob Bradley took issue with criticism of Carlos Vela after the Los Angeles FC captain led his side to a first victory over rivals LA Galaxy in an instant El Trafico classic.
LAFC cruised to the Supporters’ Shield title this year but had not previously beaten Galaxy in five attempts coming into a crunch MLS playoff on Thursday.
That run was ended in a gripping contest, though, as Vela netted twice, getting the better of Zlatan Ibrahimovic – on the scoresheet once – in an encounter that had been billed as a showdown between the league’s two leading stars.
ESPN reported both Vela and Ibrahimovic refused to fulfil media duties ahead of the game, which LAFC won 5-3.
And coach Bradley then fumed when a reporter put to him that Vela, a former Arsenal and Real Sociedad star linked with Barcelona, had not previously delivered in big matches.
“Who asked those questions?” Bradley said to ESPN, glaring at the reporter. “Have they been asked this year? Why would we ask that question?
“For this season? Get lost. Get lost.”
What a great win!! @cjbycookie and I had so much fun watching @lafc advance in the playoffs with a victory against our crosstown rival 5-3! I was so nervous when I was holding the falcon I started sweating but it was so much fun! pic.twitter.com/GKYHPfJwr8
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) October 25, 2019
Vela’s brace took his 2019 MLS tally to 36 goals in 32 games after a record-breaking regular season, while Ibrahimovic is now out of contract with Galaxy, having talked up a potential return to Europe.
Part-owner and Hollywood star Will Ferrell was in greater mood than Bradley to celebrate LAFC’s success, leading chants alongside defender Walker Zimmerman.
“I think if we could have traded those five games to win this game, we’d do it in a heartbeat,” he said. “What a great way to win, finally, in the playoffs, beat the Galaxy.”
— LAFC (@LAFC) October 25, 2019
Ferrell added of the Western Conference final clash with Seattle Sounders: “It’s going to be tough. They’re playing really well at the right time. See, I know my stuff.
“But this was a huge mountain to get over the top of. We’ll just see. It’s a quick turnaround – Tuesday, right? I’ve got to stay limber.”
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