LAFC coach Bob Bradley has never been a big fan of the MLS schedule, and that feeling is growing stronger given the fact his team’s game Saturday is the second of four it will play in 10 days and three states.
“We have a ridiculous stretch so we’re going to have to continue to find the right group every time,” he said. “We’re going to have to certainly count on everybody throughout these next games. But we’ve tried to prepare for that so hopefully we can manage.”
Saturday’s opponents at Banc of California Stadium are the Vancouver Whitecaps (4-7-8), one of only two teams to beat LAFC this season. But that game was in Canada and LAFC (a league-best 12-2-4) is unbeaten in eight games at home.
The Whitecaps are coached by Marc dos Santos, an LAFC assistant in the team’s inaugural season.
“L.A. is one of the very few places where you feel there is an extra player,” he said. “It’s a tough place to go. We’re all aware of the type of environment we’re going to face.”
LAFC remains without goalkeeper Tyler Miller and defender Walker Zimmerman, who are with the U.S. national team, but it got some help in Wednesday’s win over Sporting Kansas City from Rodolfo Zelaya and Mohamed El-Munir, who both scored their first MLS goals.
Carlos Vela also scored against Kansas City, giving him 17 in 18 games, two goals up on Josef Martinez’s pace from last season when the Atlanta United striker set the MLS single-season record with 31 goals.
LAFC plays Portland at home Wednesday in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal before traveling to Houston to play the Dynamo next Friday.