The following posts have been tagged with "soccer breakaway"...

Soccer Sweeper


(abb. “SW”). A fast & tough player who usually plays just behind the fullbacks, although he is allowed to roam. His job is to cover the space between the fullbacks & the goalkeeper & to stop “breakaways” & “sweep up” the ball or kick long “through balls” out of bounds so the defense has time to recover. Using a sweeper increases your “depth” & field coverage and therefore allows your fullbacks to push up to support your attack. A Sweeper is like a free safety in American football. A good sweeper must be fast & willing to make contact to steal the ball. A Sweeper can be like a coach on the field and can help direct adjustments, since he is usually the deepest field player and in a good position to view the game. The trend with pro teams is to not use a Sweeper but instead to use a “flatback four”, which is 4 Fullbacks playing a zone defense and using a lot of “offside traps”. A Sweeper was originally used to back up man-to-man defenses. However, using a Sweeper can also be used with a “Zone Defense” (i.e., “Spatial Defense”). A great Sweeper who has speed and great coverage skills can allow your Fullbacks to push up to support your attack, even if they aren’t fast, because he will slow down the attack and give your Fullbacks time to recover. However, if you don’t have a great Sweeper, a better alternative for most recreational teams is to use a 3-2-2-3 formation where the FB’s stay deep, as described in “Formations”. (See “Push Up“, “Formations“, “Through Ball“, “Breakaway“, “Second Sweeper“, “Support“, “Cover“, “Defending Deep” & “Zone Defense“).


Soccer Goalkeeper


(aka Goalie, Keeper or GK). Except in small-sided play, each team must have a designated goalkeeper. He is the only player on the field who can legally use his hands and then only inside the Penalty Box. (Note that the Goalie cannot pick up the ball if it was deliberately kicked to him by a teammate… he can only pick it up if it was last touched by an opponent or if it was accidentally kicked to him by a teammate, or was passed from a teammate using the head, chest, knee, etc. instead of the feet.) Once he picks up the ball he has six seconds to punt it or release it. He is allowed to pick up the ball, run with it and then punt it, throw it, or drop it and dribble or kick it. (However, he cannot touch it with his hands outside the “Penalty Box” and once he drops it he can’t touch it again with his hands until an opponent has touched it). The goalkeeper has special protections inside the Penalty Box; the ball may not be kicked if he is touching it with his hand or arm and the referee will call a foul if the goalkeeper is endangered. He must wear a shirt or jersey that is recognizably different from all other players (goalkeepers often wear special jerseys with padded elbows). Note: In hot weather, do not put a goalkeeper jersey on a player. They can get too overheated & become sick. Instead, have them wear a different-colored shirt (one shirt only) or a mesh training vest over their shirt. If your goalkeeper has a strong leg, let him take goal kicks. Encourage him to play aggressively & if you push up on the attack, to come out to the edge of the Penalty Box or beyond to play like a “Second Sweeper”. If he picks up the ball & no opponents are close, encourage him to drop the ball & dribble it out & then kick it. (Once he drops it or when out of the Penalty Box, he can play like a field player but can’t touch the ball with his hands). Encourage him to play aggressively & to take chances, everyone will have much more fun if you do & more kids will want to play goal. Goalkeepers tend to get blamed for goals when most of the time it isn’t their fault (if the other defenders are doing a great job there won’t be any shots on goal). You should tell your goalkeeper before the game that the other team is expected to score goals & that it isn’t his fault if they score. Do not let anyone else (players or parents) blame the goalkeeper. In fact, after the game you should have the rest of the team thank the goalkeeper, even if he or she did make mistakes. You should encourage everyone who wants to to take a try at playing goalkeeper. You will be surprised who is good & you really can’t tell until they actually play the position. At the very least, it will give all the players respect for how tough the position is & they will be less likely to blame the goalkeeper when goals are scored. However, do not make a child play goalkeeper if he or she doesn’t want to. (See “Second Sweeper“, “Breakaway“, “Goal Kick“, “Fouls, Indirect Kick“, “Dangerous Play“, “Distribute“, “Penalty Box“, “Punting“, “Overarm Throw” & “Worrying The Goalkeeper“).

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(NOTE: If the Goalkeeper “possesses” the ball and “releases” it, then he can only handle it again after an opponent touches it, or if it is accidentally kicked back or headed or chested back by a teammate. He can’t pick it up if a teammate has intentionally kicked or thrown it to him. Notice that this rule only applies if he actually has “possession” of the ball, and not, for example, if he blocks touches a shot with his hands and then picks up the ball to “control” it. So, the important words here are “possession” and “released” — under this rule just touching the ball isn’t the same thing as having “possession” of the ball. However, in terms of protecting the Goalkeeper’s safety, some referees will consider the Goalkeeper to have the ball under his control if he even has one finger on it — this is to discourage attackers from trying to kick the ball out of the Keeper’s hands. Se. 2.b. at Fouls for clarification of this.)


Soccer Defense


See “Soccer Shift & Sag”, “Soccer Support”, “Soccer Zone Defense”, “Soccer Formations“, “Soccer Depth“, “Soccer Cover“, “Soccer Mark“, “Soccer Pressure”, “Soccer Defending Deep“, “Width In Defense”, “Shape”, “Support Distance & Relative Position”, “Defending Third“, “Win The Ball”, “Ball Watching“, “Breakaway“, “Clear“, “Danger Zone“, “Soccer Dangerous Attackers“, “Soccer Goalkeeper“, “Verbal Soccer Signals“, “Where…From” and Soccer Defensive Tips at SoccerHelp Premium.


Soccer Counterattack


All of your soccer attacks will either start with a kick-off or a “re-start” (such as a goal kick, corner kick or free kick), or they will be “counterattacks” which start when you get the soccer ball on a turnover from the other soccer team. There are 2 types of soccer counterattacks: One is a slow, patient, ball-controlling soccer attack that relies on a lot of short soccer passes in all directions (i.e., backwards & sideways as well as forward); the other is to launch a quick “direct attack” by moving the soccer ball forward as quickly as possible into the other team’s “Danger Zone”. Unless you have a highly skilled soccer team that can complete a lot of consecutive passes, the quick direct counterattack will be the most effective. The concept is very similar to a fastbreak in basketball and if someone says you are vulnerable to a soccer counterattack they are referring to a direct, fastbreak counterattack. You are more vulnerable to a quick soccer counterattack if you push up your FB’s when you attack. There are 2 keys to launching a successful fastbreak soccer counterattack: (1) When your goal is under attack, you must be sure that one or two of your forwards stay out toward the halfway line or even farther if the other soccer team’s FB’s are deep. (Another advantage of this is it will force the other team’s FB’s to stay back, otherwise, they might push up closer toward your goal). (2) Your FB’s or MF’s must quickly kick the ball deep onto your opponent’s half of the field so your forwards can win the ball and fastbreak. (See “Attacking“, “Attacking Plan“, “Breakaway“, “Direct Attack” & “Formations“).


Soccer Breakaway


A soccer fast break where one or more attackers get behind the defenders so that only the other team’s goalkeeper is between them & the goal. Soccer Breakaway’s often happen because a defense is “pushed up” & “flat” (i.e., has no “depth”), which makes it vulnerable to “through balls”. The “Sweepers” job (if you use a Sweeper) is to stop breakaways by kicking the ball out of bounds. In recreational soccer, a good strategy for stopping the other soccer team’s fast break is to teach your FB’s to kick the ball out of bounds. This will give your FB’s & MF’s time to “sag” back to defend their goal. A “sagging” defense with “depth” prevents breakaways by having multiple layers of defenders in position to slow down the attack. On 1 vs. 1 breakaways, the defending goalkeeper should come out of the goal toward the ball in order to reduce the shooting angle. He should do this when the soccer shooter gets within shooting range & once he starts he must run quickly toward the shooter & cannot stop or turn back; if he does, the shooter will probably score. (See ““, “Formations” (3-2-2-3), “Push Up“, “Styles of Play – Soccer“, “Through Soccer Ball“, “Sweeper“, “Last Soccer Defender“, “Soccer Zone Defense” & “Soccer Goalkeeper“).