Keys to the Game vs. Montreal

Carl's Keys to the Game vs. New York Red Bulls

“Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.”

-         Quote from “After Earth”

The odds are stacked against our ‘Caps this weekend. The boys are coming off of a physically and emotionally draining match on Wednesday with no rest as they travelled coast-to-coast to take on the top team in the Eastern Conference on Saturday, who boast one of the best strikers of all-time and are unbeaten in their last seven matches. Plus we’ve yet to win a match on the road this season, and we'll be missing two of our top central midfielders in Nigel Reo-Coker and Gershon Koffie, and striker Darren Mattocks.

But it’s times like these where your strength is tested most. And fear not I say.

If this team plays fearless, if they play with complete confidence that they will not be stopped and they will not be defeated, then they may even surprise themselves to find out just how good they actually are.

Come out strong

Camilo gets the 'Caps off to a great start

Going into New York and attacking them from the opening whistle might seem like a big ask, but we’ll need to find a way to dig deep, play with energy, and really put that last match behind us.

A strong start would give us a boost and allow players to forget any tiredness they might be feeling.

The lineup will be sure to include some fresh legs, as midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker is suspended for the match due to yellow card accumulation.

Finding that energy will be much needed too. New York are a team that like to play good football, and if we let them get in a good rhythm we will be in trouble.

We need to force turnovers early on with good pressure and keep good possession when we win the ball. We cannot afford to have a slow start and be chasing the ball because it will cause tired minds and tired legs. Getting on the ball and feeling like we are in the game from the start will give us a boost for the rest of the game.

Contain Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry lobs the 'keeper for his sixth goal of the season

New York sit at the top of the Eastern Conference and Thierry Henry is a big reason why. The French legend is their top marksman with six goals and is on top of his game right now.

The former Arsenal striker is always a threat to get in behind your backline. His strategy is to play on the shoulder of the last defender. Even though he may have lost a little pace, he is still quick enough to leave many defenders in his wake.

It will be important that we don’t get into foot races with him and we get cover for the player who is marking him. You can not completely stop this man, but we have to limit the opportunities he has against us.

In-form players

Teibert gets his second goal vs. LA Galaxy

Right now Camilo and Russell Teibert are in great form, so we need to get them the ball as much as we can in key areas of the field and let them do their work.

Camilo’s hold up play has been tremendous since he has started playing as a central striker. He is often up against bigger and stronger centre backs, but he has relished the challenge and has been a great target player holding up the ball and laying it off to teammates or turning and running at defenders. But where he has been the most dangerous are his free kicks. Anywhere from 30 to 35 yards he is a threat to score and if we can get fouls in these areas, watch out!

And Teibert, of course, is playing with a great deal of confidence in midfield or out wide on the right. He has been looking to take defenders on, get crosses into the box, play one-twos or even cut inside and get a shot on goal. He is a handful right now and we need get him the ball in positions where he can hurt New York.