Carl's Keys to the Game vs. San Jose

Valentine tells us what the 'Caps need to do to get a road result

2013_04_06_keys

Photo Credit: 
USA TODAY Sports

 

1. Press high and get off to a quick start

WATCH: Kobayashi gets 'Caps off to quick start

When our ‘Caps get into a high tempo mode they are very tough to deal with. They have shown glimpses of this at different times in their first four games.

Columbus at home was the closest they’ve come to getting off to this kind of quick start. It’s even more important to get a good start on the road and not be chasing the game.

If the boys can come out and really pressure San Jose, press them up high and force them into tough situations early on without throwing caution to the wind, then that can help generate an early energy and tempo for the team, both offensively and defensively.

We have quick players up front and they could easily unsettle the Quakes defenders, which could lead to good possession in their half.

2. Shackle Wondolowski

WATCH: Wondolowski scores a low rocket

The MLS Golden Boot winner in both 2010 and 2012, Wondolowski is certainly a player that San Jose rely on to get their goals. That has especially been the case early on in the season as fellow double digit goalscorers Alan Gordon and Steven Lenhart have been out injured – though they’ve both recently returned to the squad now.

Wondo works very hard for his team and is not just about scoring goals. There is no doubt about his finishing ability. He is very good at picking up second balls around the penalty box and our ‘Caps will have to make sure they have a body on him in these dangerous areas.

He has especially been a thorn to the ‘Caps, scoring six goals in five matches against us. So while San Jose has others weapons and some key players returning, keeping Wondolowski off the score sheet will go a long way towards seeing our ‘Caps securing their first away win of the season.

3. Clinical finishing

WATCH: Manneh has late chance for 'Caps

This team has no problem creating good scoring chances in front of goal, we've seen that.

A coach will say the most important thing is that his players are creating chances, but there is a limit to that patience.

In our last two road games the team has missed breakaways and some really quality chances inside the box. We have not hit the target.

While players obviously do not mean to miss these chances, there has to be an emphasis on making the goalkeeper at least make a save.

It will be important that our players start to believe they will score when they get the chance and show some clinical finishing.