The following posts have been tagged with "soccer defending deep"...

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 Styles of Play


On offense, the two primary styles of play are a “direct attack” (which tries to quickly move the ball into scoring range, often using long passes, “through balls”, or long air balls) and an “indirect attack” (also called a “Possession” style, which is slower and uses many short passes, often sideways or backwards, while looking for a weakness in the defense.) On defense, the two primary styles of play are a “zone defense” and a “marking defense” (i.e., a man-to-man defense). There are several different terms that describe other styles of play. For example, “passing to feet” vs. “passing to space” and “onball attacking” vs. “off-the-ball attacking”. With most formations you can use different styles of play.

When comparing styles of play, you can look to other sports for analogies. In American football, for example, the dominant style of play used to be the running game, but today more teams emphasize the pass than the run. The best teams recognize that a balanced attack that uses both the run and the pass is best. In American football, if a team only runs, the defense will crowd the offense to stop the run. In soccer, if a team only attacks with short passes, the opposing defenders will push up to the halfway line or farther. The threat of through balls and long balls “stretches the defense” and is what forces defenders to stay honest. Another analogy to American football is that when you have the ball near your goal you definitely do not want to turn the ball over. In American football, even the best teams will protect the ball and punt. For this reason, it is best for most rec soccer teams to clear the ball away from their goal if there is any pressure, and hope they can win the cleared balls at least 50% of the time. (Although if there isn’t pressure or you have skilled FB’s you can “build play from the back”).

If you watch a lot of professional soccer from different countries you will see that most good teams from around the world control the ball and build play in the midfield, but also incorporate through balls and long balls into their attack (i.e., they mix the indirect and direct styles of play). In fact, depending upon the league, between 15% and 30% of the goals scored are a result of through balls or long air balls.

The style of attack you teach your team should depend on the ability of your players, the amount of time you can practice, and your coaching ability. The style of attack that will work best also depends on the type of defense the other team plays (e.g., whether they are “pushed up” or “defending deep”) and whether your Forwards are faster than the other teams FB’s. For example, if the opposing FB’s push up and your Forwards are faster, you should try through balls and quick counterattacks. A select team that practices 4 hours per week can play a better short passing game than a typical rec team. In any case, you will want to teach the concepts of “First Attacker”, “Second Attacker”, and “Third Attacker”.

As for a defensive style of play, a “zone defense” and “First Defender/Second Defender” works best for most rec teams. This is because many rec FB’s don’t have the speed or stamina to play a man-to-man style of defense. How to teach a zone defense is explained at “Zone Defense” and at “Support”. (See “Attacking“, “Attacking Plan“, “Boom Ball“, “Counterattack“, “Creating Space“, “Direct Attack“, “Possession Style“, “Spread the Field“, “Stretched Defense“, “Through Ball“, “Long-Ball Game“, “Over the Top“, “Zone Defense“, “Support“, “First Attacker“, “Formations“, and the section titled “Scoring More Goals”).


Soccer Depth


Depth on defense means having several defenders (ideally, multiple layers of defenders) spaced between the ball & the goal who are in a soccer position to “recover” in time to stop an attack on their goal. This and First Defender/Second Defender are the most important defensive concepts. Depth is the opposite of a “flat” defense. Depth in attack means having support to the rear so the ball can be passed back or “dropped”. (See “Soccer Support“, “Soccer Through Balls“, “Soccer Defending Deep“, “Soccer Zone Defense“, “Soccer Flat Defense” & “Soccer Cover“).


Soccer Defending To Win


Refers to aggressively pushing up the Soccer Fullbacks & even the goalkeeper to support the attack & to “press” if the ball is turned over to the other soccer team with the objective of recovering the ball on the other team’s half of the field. This is quite different from a cautious defense that doesn’t aggressively push up or get the FB’s involved in the attack. The opposite of “Defending Deep”. (See “Attacking” & “Push Up“).


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 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’


Soccer Defending Deep


See “Soccer Defend Deep”, above.


Soccer Attacking Plan


For recreational soccer teams ages 10 and older, it is very important to have a simple and realistic soccer attacking plan that players clearly understand & can execute. For example, a simple attacking plan could be to clear the soccer ball away from your Defending Third, have your forwards be positioned to win the ball, and launch a quick attack. This is not as easy as it sounds. How to achieve this is described at SoccerHelp Premium.

(See “Soccer Attacking“, “Center The Soccer Ball“, “Clear the Soccer Ball “, “Soccer Counterattack“, “Defending Deep“, “Finish“, “First Attacker“, “Formations“, “Pass To Space“, “Push Up“, “Rebound“, “Shift & Sag“, “Styles of Play“, “Support” and “Win The Ball“).