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Three things to watch against LA Galaxy: Once more unto the breach

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

It's not as if we haven't been here before: the second leg of a playoff match is looming, and we'll be forced to go and play — not just try to stem the tide. There are plenty of things to watch with this one, but let's try to focus on three — or at least to pinpoint three, because focus is sometimes not our specialty.

1. Score a goal.

Any old goal will do, obviously. A free kick from the edge of the box, a penalty earned cheaply, a brilliantly flicked header — just scoring will change the dynamic of the game significantly. Even scoring a game-tying goal would be enough to put us in the metaphorical driver's seat. It's that blasted away goals rule coming into play once again, and while I'd like to take some time in the future to complain about it, now's not the time.

2. Continue with the narrow defense

Our defensive outlay should remain more or less the same as it was last match if we want to find the most success. With Chris Wingert and Tony Beltran playing in more narrow positions, the wide play of LA Galaxy will either be pushed wider or into even more narrow positions. This sounds dangerous, but with Gyasi Zardes and Landon Donovan both looking to cut inside, they'd find themselves without enough support out wide — or if they find themselves with support, it'll be from their fullbacks, which leaves RSL with greater counterattack opportunities.

3. Be prepared to push on the counter

Committing numbers forward might not always make sense depending on the various game states we might find ourselves in, but we have to be prepared to push players into the attack when we win the ball in a good position. If we're going to manage risks, we have to be willing to deviate from the plan. We're not likely to score a counterattacking goal if it's just Joao Plata and Alvaro Saborio.