LAFC is the only Los Angeles team in the MLS playoffs, with the Galaxy crashing out on Nov. 5. Bradley believes that despite an inconsistent regular season and a tough first round match against reigning champion the Seattle Sounders FC, his team can find form in the postseason and become the latest LA team to win a championship.
"When all is said and done -- we saw it in Los Angeles with the Lakers and the Dodgers -- with everything that's gone on in the country and in the world this year, some teams with leaders just still at the end have something special, something different," said Bradley in a video conference after Sunday's 1-1 tie against Portland Timbers. "There's a mentality. There's a concentration. There's a determination. And I'm hoping we can find that."
"I believe we are capable of winning MLS Cup, but again, you go a game at a time, and so we know that we start in Seattle [against the Sounders]," he continued. "[It's] always a tough game. From the start we've had really good games with them, but we know that last year, they came here and knocked us out of the playoffs in the conference finals. So we've got to see if we can settle that score and go there and be at our best."
LAFC is boosted in the postseason by the return of Carlos Vela to full fitness. The Mexico forward played a full 90 minutes on Sunday for the first time in eight months. He scored his 52nd regular season goal since joining the club at the beginning of the 2018 season, matching Zlatan Ibrahimovic's total over the Swede's three seasons in MLS at LA Galaxy.
"When Carlos is there, when as many guys as possible are fit, sharp and in good form, we still believe that we have a team that can win MLS Cup and as we get to this time of the year, we think we are getting closer," said Bradley.
Uruguay forward Diego Rossi, 22, has developed into a key component for LAFC this season and won the league's golden boot award with his 14 goals over the regular season, becoming the youngest recipient of the award.
"It is very nice to win it, it is a prize for the group because without them it would have obviously been impossible, because it is a team effort," said Rossi in Spanish in a video conference. "When Carlos [Vela] was not there, we showed that the team was strong and has variation."
For the trip to Seattle, LAFC may be without Uruguayan duo Rossi and Brian Rodriguez and Ecuadorians Jose Cifuentes and Diego Palacios, who will be traveling with their international squads in the current window and will have to quarantine on return to the United States.
Bradley lamented the potential absentees, but acknowledged that the COVID-19 situation has made for a complicated year for MLS logistically.
"We are going to take the group that's here," said Bradley. "We know we play Seattle. We are going to work like crazy for two weeks and go to Seattle and give our best effort to move on."