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VANCOUVER, B.C – It takes a full team that’s committed from the first day of preseason to buy in, and be a successful MLS club. LAFC are 7-1-1 on the season, and sitting pretty at the top of the MLS table. LAFC can flick a switch and score in bunches.

Yes, it’s early, but Bob Bradley’s side are easily the team to beat. Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi, and Christian Ramirez are leading the way on offence, but LAFC are equally talented on the back line with a pair of defenders that provide a strong veteran presence.

Steven Beitashour, and Jordan Harvey bring the kind of leadership, and MLS experience that a lot of MLS teams simply don’t have. LAFC’s full backs know what it takes to win. They’re out to prove that they still have a lot of left in the tank. Not only is LAFC a thriving on the pitch, but they are a well connected side off the pitch.

“Yeah, I think we’ve been gelling,” Beitashour explained. “Obviously that comradorite and having a year together, and really getting familiar with your teammates. In Bob’s (Bradley) system, I think it’s a very unique style. There’s a specific way he wants to play, and I think now, we’re really comfortable with it. You can see that, in the way that we’ve started so far.”

It also helps to have early season MVP candidate, Carlos Vela who has already scored 10 goals this season. A team that has the quality, and depth that LAFC has, doesn’t need a lot of opportunities to score.

Vela, and Rossi have combined for 16 goals, and 6 assists.

Having the ability to throw Vela, and Rossi at opposition defenders is a great problem to have for Bradley and his coaching staff. It’s also a luxury to be able to compete against the duo each day in practice.

“Yeah, it’s been a lot of fun playing with them, and going against them,” Harvey told Har Journalist, in Vancouver. “I think that’s something that kind of gets overlooked. As defenders, we get to go against some really special attackers every day in training, and that really helps us out. When we step on the pitch, we’ve been playing against the best players, I feel like, in MLS. When you come on, it makes your job a little bit easier, and you know what to expect a little bit more.”

While both Beitashour, and Harvey have spent considerable time playing in Canada, they have always played in a similar natural full back role. Now that they’re in Los Angeles, that role hasn’t changed much. The duo is still offensive minded, with a few additions.

“You’ve seen us both play for long enough, you know our roles,” Beitashour joked.

It’s not enough to rush up the pitch and contribute on offence. That’s already expected from a modern full back. The ability to add another offensive dimension without jeopardizing your defence, is what separates outstanding full backs.

“It’s similar to what we’ve been doing our whole careers,” Beitashour said “At the same time. I think there are moments when we are tucked in more, and almost playing, like a central role. Maybe in the past it’s more stay wide, get up, and get down. Over here, I think we’re tucked in a little more, and able to connect with passes. When we don’t have the ball, we’re also offensive marking, and preventing any counter-attacks that could happen.

“I would agree,” Harvey said.

The 32-year-old, Steven Beitashour, and 35-year-old, Jordan Harvey, are the type of MLS veterans you need to win an MLS championship. They put the work in each day, bring a positive mindset, and want to help the next generation.

Together they are hoping they can help LAFC reach the ultimate goal this season.

“The ultimate goal is MLS Cup,” Beitashour smiled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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