Carl's Keys ACC Finale

Carl's Keys to #ConquerCanada

Take it to them

Whitecaps FC ready for the big game

This is now a one game cup final, at home, and a win will see our ‘Caps lift the Voyageurs Cup in front of our own fans.

You can’t ask for more than that. This is a big opportunity that the players have to grasp with both hands. Now is the time to win the Amway Canadian Championship.

Montreal is a dangerous team playing their favoured 4-1-4-1 counterattacking style that has seen them get great results in some very tough venues. But they’ve yet to experience the atmosphere at BC Place.

We have been a formidable team at home, beating the likes of LA Galaxy and dictating the pace each time out. Now we need to take advantage of home field advantage and come out fired up, playing our high tempo game.

Of course, there will also be some nerves, but it’s important that we revel in the moment. I expect our ‘Caps to take the game to Montreal and make it a memorable night at BC Place.

Stop Marco Di Vaio

Di Vaio gets a hat-trick in the first half vs. Philly

To say Marco Di Vaio is on fire would be a huge understatement.

The Italian is taking MLS by storm and currently is tied for the league lead with nine goals on the season, plus another two against Toronto FC in ACC play.

Di Vaio is in top form, coming off a hat-trick against Philadelphia on Saturday as Montreal won 5-3 at Stade Saputo. So without question, Montreal will be looking for their superstar striker to nick a goal for them and give them a chance to win the Canadian Championship. But of his 11 goals, only one has come on the road, away from the friendly confines of Stade Saputo, so stopping him is certainly feasible.

We’ll need a performance like we had against him in the first leg in Montreal, where he only had one real good chance in the second half that was blocked by Andy O’Brien. That was the first and only home game this season that he has been kept off the scoresheet, and the first time Montreal were shutout at home.

Any time he is around the box we need to have a least one body on him, and sometimes even two, as he can make something out of nothing. Keeping this guy in our sights will go a long way to overcoming this strong Montreal team.

Big game players

Kenny Miller scores winner for Rangers in Scottish Cup Final

We have a number of veteran players that have played in numerous cup finals and many big games. That leadership will be key to having a calming influence on the rest of the team.

You really want to treat this like any other game, but the fact of the matter is it that this is not like any other game, this is a cup final at home, a chance to win a trophy in front of your fans.

A game like this does not come along every day, and the more that players think of this the most tense they can become.

This is where the Nigel Reo-Cokers, the Andy O’Briens, the Young-Pyo Lees, the Alain Rochats and the Kenny Millers can help the dressing room and especially our younger players channel their nervous energy into complete focus on what needs to be done.