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

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 High Line


(aka “Pushed Up”). A “high line” is when the Fullbacks push up toward the halfway line. They may do this to support their team’s attack, in which case they are vulnerable to a fast “counterattack” by their opponent. Fullbacks may also push up and play a “high line” when they are on defense in order to create an “offside trap”, but they are vulnerable to “through balls” played into the open space between them and their Goalkeeper that the opposing fast forwards can run onto. In the 2006 World Cup, Ghana played a “high line” and lost to Brazil 3:0 by giving up 2 goals on “breakaways” to Ronaldo and Ze Roberto. Brazil left their great forwards pushed up so they were even with the high line and passed balls through the Fullbacks that the forwards ran onto. (See “Push Up“)


Soccer Defend Deep


Defending Deep is a conservative defense and the opposite of “Pushing Up”. It refers to leaving your Fullbacks deep on your half of the field, usually within your “Defensive Third” and sometimes within your Penalty Box (you can give them specific boundaries to stay within, such as to not come past the top of the Soccer Penalty Box Arc unless it is to kick away a loose ball). The primary reason for Soccer Defending Deep would be if the opposing Forwards are faster than your Fullbacks (if the opponent’s Forwards are faster, they can get “Breakaways” and score easy goals). Another reason might be if you don’t have subs and leave your FB’s deep to reduce their running and conserve their energy, so you don’t have to sub them. The advantages of Defending Deep are that you won’t give up soccer goals on “breakaways” and that your Fullbacks will be in position to defend your goal. The disadvantage is that your Fullbacks don’t support your attack as they do if you “Push Up”. On Premium there is a great deal of information about how to teach “Defending Deep” and how to attack a “Packed In Soccer Defense“. See Should You Push Up In Soccer When You Attack’