(East Los Angeles, CA) November 20, 2020 [From The Editor’s Desk]: The Los Angeles Football Club’s biggest game of this historic COVID-19 plagued 2020 MLS season, is all set for this coming Tuesday, November 24th, when they travel to the Far West’s Emerald City known as Seattle, to take on their Sounders Football Club, the Western Conference’s 3rd place finishers. It will be quite an undertaking for Head Coach, Bob Bradley and his band of fútbol/soccer warriors, as he tries to solidify and prepare a team, that in so many ways right now, appears to be under-manned and not quite at peak readiness due to the quarantine of three of its key players, plus other nagging player injuries.
This piece features Coach Bradley in the LAFC’s press availability of Thursday, November 19th and it is the full media 10 minute interview with the team’s credentialed media outlets.
LAFC has recently confirmed that defender Diego Palacios, midfielder José Cifuentes and forward Diego Rossi have tested positive for COVID-19 while with the Ecuador and Uruguay National Teams during the most recent November FIFA international window of preparations and competitions.
Upon receipt of the positive results, the players entered self-isolation in their respective countries and will remain isolated and follow their local restrictions and protocol prior to returning to Los Angeles. Additionally, forward Brian Rodríguez, who has been on assignment with the Uruguayan National Team, continues to test negative at this time. His return to Los Angeles, as well as his status for LAFC’s playoff match against Seattle is still to be determined.
LAFC finished the regular season in 7th place in the Western Conference standings with a (9-8-5) record (32 pts; 1.45 PPG). The Round One matchup against Seattle will mark the fifth meeting of the year between the two sides, with each club winning two games. This is the “Do or Die” match of the season for our beloved Black & Gold, and stands in huge contrast to last year’s finish as the one of the Finalists for the MLS title in 2019.
Finally, and in speaking of Rossi’s spectacular season, he merited the following Awards…the Audi 2020 MLS Golden Boot Winner, and just recently, was voted to the 2020 MLS Best XI presented by The Home Depot for the first time in his career. MLS revealed the Best XI for the regular season, that recognized the league’s top players at each position as determined by Media, MLS players and MLS club technical staff. The 22 year-old Uruguayan-born Forward, also bagged the inaugural AT&T MLS Young Player of the Year, rounding out this trio of regular season awards.
LAFC becomes the first team in MLS history to have Golden Boot winners in consecutive seasons, after Carlos Vela won in 2019 with an MLS record 34 goals.
The Best XI selection marks Rossi’s sixth individual award of the year. At the MLS‘ restart of the season, the MLS is Back Tournament last July, he earned that separate trio of honors– the Golden Boot presented by Audi, before being voted the Young Player of the Tournament presented by AT&T 5G and selected to the tournament’s Best XI presented by BODYARMOR.
In his third year with the Black & Gold, Rossi led the team and league with 14 goals, becoming the youngest player in MLS history to win the Golden Boot.
Match Media Coverage: The rematch of last year’s Final will take place at CenturyLink Field on Tuesday, November 24 at 7:30 p.m. PT. Regular local media coverage can be found on (ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and on Radio, ESPN LA 710 AM and KFWB 980 AM.
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