Carl's Keys to the Game vs. San Jose

The legend talks offensive pressure, second balls, and discipline

Offensive pressure

'Caps prepare to host San Jose at BC Place

In our last game versus Portland we were able to control the game by putting their defence under pressure and creating turnovers that gave us good possession in their end. That helped us control the first half.

It’s the same thing we have done consistently at home and we need to establish that against San Jose.

By putting the opposition on the back foot early, it helps establish our high tempo game that other teams find hard to live with.

The Earthquakes have not done well on the road and will not be comfortable playing on our turf. Getting after them early and often will only put more doubt in their minds and give our ‘Caps a chance for an early breakthrough.

Second balls

 

Wondolowski heads in a long ball against Chivas USA

Many teams have diverted away from the classic 4-4-2 formation, but San Jose continue to use it, and for the most part it has worked really well for them

What make it effective are the options they have in the two striker positions: Alan Gordon, Steven Lenhart, rookie Adam Jahn, and last year’s golden boot winner Chris Wondolowski.

All these strikers are 6-feet or taller and like to play physical. With that advantage, the Quakes will look to hit long balls up to them and then try and win the flick-ons or knock-downs. This is where we can nullify one of their strengths by winning those second balls which will limit the opportunities they have going forward.

They also like to play with two wide players, who will look to get as many crosses into the box as possible for their big targets. It will be important to cut off this supply to limit their chances.

Discipline

 

Jun Marques Davidson sent off against Philly

It will be another tense Western showdown with San Jose desperate to keep up in the very tight playoff race.

The Earthquakes are very athletic and could be looking to make this a physical game and try to get under the ‘Caps skin.  We will have to remain disciplined and play our game, because we are at home and right now our players should be thinking we are the better team.

The last two performances have been very strong and we need to build on that. Against Philly we played really well but a rush of blood cost us as we could not overcome playing with 10 men for over 80 minutes.

We kept our heads against a fired-up Portland team last weekend. The Timbers started out by being very physical to try and get us to lose our composure, but no such luck.

It will be important to stand up to San Jose and battle with them, but remain calm and keep 11 men on the field. Do this and we have to be very confident of getting back to winning ways.