The following posts have been tagged with "soccer last defender"...

Soccer Through Ball


(aka Through Pass). A soccer pass between defenders into the open space between the fullbacks & the soccer goalkeeper with the idea that a forward will beat the defenders to the soccer ball. There are 2 types: a “Straight Through Ball” & a “Diagonal Through Ball”). (See “Pass To Space”, “Leading Pass” & “Pass To Yourself”). This is a very important soccer concept to teach & one that I think should be introduced by U-8 & definitely by U-10. By U-12 (& sometimes by U-10) defenders will be “pushing up” & it will become very difficult for attackers to dribble past the “Last Defender”. “Through Balls”, “Passing to Yourself”, “Switching The Play” & “Wall Passes” become the keys to a successful offense. If the other team is having success with through balls, it may be because your soccer defense if “flat” & doesn’t have “depth”. (See “Depth“, “Zone Defense“, “Push Up“, “Last Defender“, “Leading Pass“, “Give & Go“, “Pass To Space“, “Diagonal Through Ball“, “Styles of Play” & “Stretch The Field“).


Soccer Offside Rule (Detailed)


What makes the offside rule especially complicated is that a soccer player can be in an “offside position” without being offside. Two things are necessary to be “offside”:

1st – The soccer player must be in an “offside position” at the moment the ball is “played” by a soccer teammate. To be in an “offside position”, a soccer player must be on the opponent’s half of the field & closer to the opponent’s goal line than both the soccer ball & the second-last defender. A soccer player is not in an offside position if he is on his own half of the field (i.e. the half his goalkeeper is on), or even with the second-to-last defender or the last 2 defenders. (The goalkeeper is usually the last defender, or one of the last two, but he might not be; the rules just refer to the last 2 defenders & don’t mention the goalkeeper). This is often difficult to call. (For example, if a soccer player is even with the Second Last Defender & thereby in an “onside position” but runs past the Second Last Defender a split second after his teammate makes a through pass. In this example, the soccer player is not offside because he was in an onside position at the moment the soccer ball was played.)

2nd – The player must be involved in “active play” by either:

  • gaining an advantage by being in an offside position, or
  • interfering with play, or
  • interfering with an opponent
  • For example, if a soccer player is in an “offside position” but not involved in the play, he would not be “offside”. This can be a tough call & can be very judgmental. For example, what if the “onball attacker” is to the right of the goal but a teammate is in an “offside position” to the left of the goal’ You can argue that the teammate wasn’t involved in the play, but you can also argue that he distracted the goalkeeper because the goalkeeper had to worry about the possibility of a crossing pass & therefore the attacking team “gained an advantage by being in an offside position”, in which case the teammate was “offside”. In this case, the Referee’s decision might depend on whether he felt the Goalkeeper was influenced by the player in the offside position. Obviously, it is a very subjective decision.

    The penalty for Offside is that an Indirect Free Kick is awarded to the opposing soccer team to be taken from the place where the offside occurred.

    I suggest this: don’t argue with the referee over these calls. It’s a very tough call and it’s easy to miss these calls. (Even the best Linesmen in the world miss these calls). I suggest teaching your attackers to stay 2 steps behind the “Last Defender” and, if they don’t have the soccer ball but are running with a teammate who has the soccer ball, to stay 3 steps behind the soccer ball so they are less likely to be called offside. (The linesman’s sight angle can sometimes make an attacker look like he’s in an offside position when he’s actually even with the Last Defender or with the soccer ball).

    Special Cases Where Offside Is Not Called: A soccer player is not offside if he receives the soccer ball directly from a goal kick, throw-in or corner kick, even if he is in an offside position; however, once touched, the offside rule starts and if it is then played to a soccer player in an “offside position”, offside may be called. (Note that the offside rule does apply on “free kicks”). A soccer player is also not offside if he passes the soccer ball backward, even if doing so leaves him in an “offside position”. However, if he is in an offside position and the soccer ball is played returned to him by a teammate (e.g., a wall pass), then he can be called offside.


    Soccer Last Defender


    The defender (not counting the goalkeeper) who is closest to the goal you are attacking. (The goalkeeper is usually the actual last defender, but it is easier to teach this concept by referring to the last field player as the “Last Defender”).This is an important concept to teach because you may want your center forward to play within 2 steps of the Last Defender. The “Last Defender” is usually as far as a forward can “push up” without the ball & still be “onside”. You want your forwards to stay 2 steps behind the last Defender so they won’t be as likely to be called offside. It is hard to dribble past the Last Defenders. The best way to break through them is by “through balls”, “give & go’s” or “passing to yourself”. (See “Offside Rule“, “Push Up“, “Through Ball“, “Pass To Yourself” & “Pass To Space“).


    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“).