Bob Bradley admitted that LAFC are going through a tough stretch and have a number of players who are not in good form after his side went down to back-to-back losses for the first time in two years with defeat to the Seattle Sounders on Sunday night.
Last year's dominant Supporters' Shield winners were undone at CenturyLink Field with an 11th-minute goal from Raul Ruidiaz and then two-goals in as many minutes from Jordan Morris at the start of the second half. Diego Rossi's seventh regular-season goal in 2020 proved no more than a consolation.
And Bradley did not hold back on calling out his players after the final whistle.
"We're going through a very difficult stretch," he said. "We have a lot of guys who are not in good form and who are mentally just not where they need to be. It's a really bad first goal to concede and then you can see that mentally hit some guys right away, with their heads down. Then we have just a terrible two minutes in the second half.
"It's a tough stretch for us and you can see with so many guys right now, confidence, mentality and form, we've got to find the right ways to get it back.
"I think Diego tried, he found ways to be outside he found ways to be inside, didn't start the game at his sharpest but kept going. Rewarded with a goal," Bradley said when asked to comment on the performance of his front three. "I don't think Brian had a good game. I thought the first 30 minutes of the game, his concentration ... I thought that in stretches he was too wide and too predictable with what he was trying to do. So for us to be at a good level we need Brian to play better than he has played of late.
"And then I don't think it was Brad's best game. Brad did really well in Orlando. and tonight I don't think he was so sharp. So more than the relationships I think you got to get better games from guys. Pretty good from Diego, just OK for Brad and not good from Brian."
Bradley also expressed displeasure with some of his side's defending as well as the decision making of goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer, particularly in the buildup to Seattle's second goal.
The defeat on Sunday came just over a month since LAFC brushed aside the same opponents 4-1 at the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando. Asked what's changed with his team since that day, Bradley acknowledged that his players have struggled to match their' previously high standards.
"Since we've returned, I think the level has slipped a little bit in training," he said. "And it's something different for this group where all of a sudden it's not coming so easy. You heard me speak after the LA Galaxy game, we just didn't play well. And then tonight I thought we started out OK but when we conceded a poor goal and you could just see a little bit of the way guys put their heads down.
"There's never excuses. We set the bar high, but it's still an interesting period with, with the day to day part with players because with everything that's going on in their lives and in the world lately we've tried everything we can to try to keep guys fully engaged and you could just see that some of them are not so that's the responsibility of the coaching staff to find the right ways to keep everybody going during a difficult period, both on and off the field."