LAFC beat Zlatan Ibrahimović and LA Galaxy 5–3 in Thursday night’s El Tráfico, beating their rivals for the first time ever, bouncing them from the MLS playoffs, and advancing to the club’s first Western Conference final. LAFC star Carlos Vela figured prominently, scoring a pair of first-half goals and setting up a second-half tiebreaker from Diego Rossi. Toppling Ibrahimović and progressing deep into the playoffs seems like meaningful validation for Vela, who has quickly become MLS’s own version of Lionel Messi.
After it was over, ESPN reporter Sebastian Salazar lobbed up a softball for LAFC coach Bob Bradley, referencing unspecified questions from the past about Vela’s performances in big games. Even if this was not intended as an open invitation for Bradley to heap praise on his team’s best player, that’s how 99 out of 100 coaches in American professional sports would’ve handled it. To whoever had those questions, I assume they have now been answered. Bradley, who has always been his own man, told Salazar to “get lost,” and then stormed off in a mighty huff:
Perhaps the funniest part of this is chronic over-explainer Taylor Twellman bending over backwards to position Bradley’s tantrum as a reasonable defense of his player, when Salazar’s question was offered in order to get Bradley to articulate a thoughtful defense of his player. Instead of defending Vela, or showering him with affirmations, Bradley chose to invalidate the very premise of the question. Next time just compliment your damn player, dude.
Also, here is Ibrahimović honking his dick and balls at a heckling LAFC fan, for your enjoyment: