LAFC, without an injured Carlos Vela (hamstring), struggled to get anything going in front goal and lost 2-0 to Minnesota United FC.
“We obviously miss Carlos [Vela] and the way that he plays and trains, certainly he’s a leader in the locker room,” Bob Bradley told media after the match.
“When you become a good team, teams are going to come in with a real plan and then your ability to understand how to deal with those games, that’s always going to be challenging.”
This defeat to Minnesota means that LAFC were unable to clinch the Western Conference title and a first-round bye in the MLS Playoffs. It was also their first home loss of the season. LAFC’s loss to Minnesota was also their first defeat by multiple goals in 31 matches.
Bradley decided to make a few more changes to his starting lineup as well.
Goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega got the nod ahead of Tyler Miller. Walker Zimmerman was back from suspension and Tristian Blackmon replaced Steven Beitashour at right back.
In attack, Brian Rodriguez got the start and Adama Diomande made his return to the lineup.
Eduard Atuesta had one of the best attempts of the match for LAFC 24 minutes into proceedings. He danced by a couple of Minnesota defenders inside the area before forcing Vito Mannone into a diving save.
Toye scores twice for Minnesota
Moments later, the visitors took the lead. Jan Gregus timed a through ball that got by the sliding Eddie Segura. Then, Mason Toye beat Sisniega from a tight angle at the near post, firing his shot into the far corner.
The 20-year-old striker scored his second goal four minutes later. Darwin Quintero created space for Toye by running towards the box. This allowed the youngster to fire a long-range missile to make it 2-0 to Minnesota for good.
“We obviously miss Carlos [Vela] and the way that he plays and trains, certainly he’s a leader in the locker room,” Walker Zimmerman told reporters.
“But, at the same time we have a lot of guys who have stepped up this year, been vocal, been very communicative in the locker room, on the field, in training.”
LAFC continue play this Saturday night when they go on the road to take on Orlando City SC. Kickoff for this match is set for 4:30 PM PST.