Carl's Keys vs. LA Galaxy

Carl's Keys to the Game vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

Highlights: Whitecaps FC 3-1 LA Galaxy

Setting the tone

This has been one of my keys to the game many times, but I feel it will be vitally important that we get off to a fast start in this Western Conference grudge match.

Los Angeles Galaxy, who sit just one point ahead of our ‘Caps, are looking like the team to beat in Major League Soccer. Two of their Designated Players, Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan, are coming off back-to-back hat-tricks.

There are sure to be some nerves from our fans, coaches and players. The best way to overcome that is to create lots of excitement as soon as the whistle goes by being aggressive with and without the ball. This will get the team and fans energized right from the start of the game. It will also make the Galaxy feel uncomfortable, as they don’t like playing on turf – we beat them 3-1 in their last visit to BC Place.

The Galaxy are in mid-season form and if we allow them to get into any kind of rhythm it could be a long night for our boys. Although Bruce Arena’s side has scored a lot of goals as of late, they have been prone to conceding goals as well. We need to take advantage of that. We’ve scored the most goals at home this season and that’s a trend we need to continue this weekend.

'Caps talk about stopping Donovan and Keane

Dynamic duo

You’ve probably heard a lot about Donovan and Keane in recent weeks – and for good reason.

Donovan scored a hat-trick for the Galaxy Aug. 11 against FC Dallas and Keane did the same the following week in a 4-2 win over Real Salt Lake. The Irish international also bagged two goals in CONCACAF Champions League play Tuesday – both of them set up by you guessed it: Donovan.

They are LA’s best players and they are at the top of their game right now. If we’re going to claim our second victory over the Galaxy, then we have to limit the damage these two players can inflict on us. They are both intelligent players who can hurt you in many different ways so we need to make sure we cut off their supply of the ball as much as we can.

Ousted makes a sprawling save Aug. 10 vs. San Jose

Time to shine

Being at home should give us the confidence to beat who I think is the best team in MLS right now. We have posted an 8W-1L-3D record at BC Place, including a 3-1 win over LA in May.

But the Galaxy are playing at a different level right now. I don’t see them getting a ton of chances against our back line – which could be boosted by the return of centre back Andy O’Brien – but when they do they have been lethal in front of goal.

This is a game made for our new shot-stopper David Ousted. We have seen his quality and he seems to live for games like this. I had the pleasure to travel to the Okanagan with Ousted and got to know him a lot better. He is very team-oriented but loves the challenge of lots of shots on goal and having the chance to make big saves for his team.

He’s full of confidence, very vocal and not afraid to demand more from the players in front of him. This is a game made for Mr. Ousted and I think he’s going to shine.