With Marco Ureña out, LAFC forced to consider different attacking ideas

LOS ANGELES -- LAFC striker Marco Ureña remained on the field following a first-half, bone-crushing collision with Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei in the grand opening of Banc of California Stadium last month.

But after the club revealed on May 1 that the Costa Rican international would require surgery that would likely keep him out until after he returns from World Cup duty, there were already questions whether the expansion side could continue to produce at their blistering offensive pace. Those have grown louder following a 1-1 home draw against FC Dallas last weekend.

“From the beginning of the year, we’ve tried to establish different attacking ideas,” Bradley said on Tuesday. “I thought overall against Dallas our ideas were very good. We created a lot of chances, didn’t take them all well, [but] sometimes that happens in football.”

Many of those ideas revolve around Mexican international Carlos Vela, who had been playing behind Urena in LAFC's set up before the injury.

“When you use Carlos in a different role without a main striker in front of him [there are] ideas of how he moves," Bradley said. "Is he still in the right moments close enough to goal that when things develop he’s where we need him to be?”

Bradley will hope the answers come quickly, as Minnesota United come to town Wednesday (10 pm ET | Full TV & streaming info) on the back of a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Vancouver, where The Loons had to play down a man for nearly half the match.

Without Ureña and until primary window deadline signing Adama Diomandé arrives, other players have stepped up in different ways to help the side cope.

"Marco is fundamental for us,” midfielder Eduard Atuesta told reporters in Spanish Tuesday. “But [Saturday] we demonstrated several things well to create good football until he comes back."

After being handed his first start against Dallas, the 20-year-old Atuesta is a piece of the ever-evolving puzzle that is LAFC’s starting XI. The midfielder, who has captained Colombia’s U20 side, has flown under the radar after making a move to Los Angeles from Medellín early in preseason.

“Everybody came in following the [Dallas] match feeling like we played well, but that we should have won,” said Bradley of the team’s attitude this week. “Everyone says, ‘Look I’m ready I feel good, let’s keep going.’”

Meanwhile, just because Ureña won't be available doesn't mean his influence won't be felt around the club following his surgery.

“It went great,” Bob Bradley said of the operation. “[Ureña's] been around, his mentality is still front and center. He’s such a good guy. Now it’s just giving [the injury] time to heal.”