Carl's Keys to the ACC final 1st leg vs. Montreal

The legend tells us what the 'Caps need to do in Montreal

Stay in it

Montreal steamrolls Toronto FC 6-0

We can’t win the Amway Canadian Championship series in the first leg, but we sure could lose it if we’re not careful.

Obviously, like any match, we’ll be going into it looking to win. However, what we cannot do is let the game get away from us (See: ACC semi vs. Toronto FC). If we go down a goal and start chasing the game that could let the score get away from us, which could be very difficult to overcome in the second leg at BC Place.

We need to stick to the game plan and keep our composure, regardless of any setbacks that might occur. Our ‘Caps are unbeaten at home and have looked very strong at BC Place, so even coming home down a goal would not be the end of the world and would keep us within striking distance.

Even with a close win in the first leg the final would be far from decided, as Montreal have shown that they can go on the road and get results (See: Seattle and Portland).

Remember, this first leg is only halftime. The second and decisive game will be in front of our rocking fans, so we need to manage the game and stay in it so we can use our home field to our advantage.

Marco Di Vaio

Di Vaio snipes one against Columbus Crew

The Italian will be a key figure in this year’s ACC finals. Di Vaio has scored in all six home matches for Montreal this season.

He is a player who is certainly in fine form. He’s scored at the highest level with the Italian national team and has years of experience in Serie A. Now, he is showing everybody in MLS what a class striker he really is.

Di Vaio is a poacher who knows when and where to show up in the box, but he can also score goals from distance.

Our defenders MUST be fully aware of him when Montreal is attacking and keep a body by his side at all times. We cannot afford to give him any room around the box because he is lethal.

If we can deny him the ball and limit his chances, it will go a long way towards getting a positive result to bring back to BC Place.

Substitutes

Manneh subs on and makes difference vs. FC Dallas

Both teams are playing this game in the midst of a heavy schedule and will have to do some squad rotation to bring some freshness to their lineup.

There is a good chance that the players in the starting eleven for both teams will be feeling their legs go from under them sometime in the second half, and that’s where substitutions could become key.

Expect these to start around the 60-minute mark. This is where the coaches can make a big difference by putting game changers on the field against a team that could be running out of steam.

There is a good chance this game will be decided by the subs made by the coaches and we know we have a couple of players that have come off the bench before to make that kind of difference (See: Kekuta Manneh).