Continued from October 2nd’s post:
To make this strategy successful, of course our CMF’s must mark tight or at least be within a step of the passing lane to win the ball. If we don’t win the ball we hope the ball is played backwards as this will give us time to adjust our shape and get numbers back. The worst case scenario is that the player receiving the ball can turn and beat our CMF off the dribble, as this could give the opponent a numbers up situation.
In other situations, while defending in the opponents defensive third and while the outside back receives the ball, we stress to our forwards to make the play or scenario predictable. The responsibility of our forward(s) is to force the play to the touchline and not allow for the ball to be played back centrally. The angle of the approach of our forward is very important. The player must often make a looping run while closing down the first attacker. This looping run will force the play to move toward the touchline and forward and not allow the first attacker to find support behind or centrally without a creative move off the dribble to beat our forward. This can be a stressful situation for any outside back to deal with and often leads to a mistake for our benefit. Once again, our players off the ball must be in defensive support and must either be marking appropriately or a step from the possible passing lane for proper execution of winning the ball in the opponent’s half.
Lastly, we often remind the players that this is collective defending and not just defending from one or two players. The entire team must work cohesively and appreciate the work rate and responsibilities of their teammates around them. If your players buy-in and execute this defensive strategy then you may embark on a magical season.
Dave Weitzman has compiled a record of 35 wins – 4 ties – 4 losses in three seasons as the head coach of the NPSL’s FC SONIC Lehigh Valley. FC SONIC ranked #1 nationally among all NPSL / PDL teams in 2012 and has reached the NPSL National Championships twice in Weitzman’s three years while claiming the 2012 National Championship. Weitzman spent nine seasons as an assistant coach at Muhlenberg College and Lehigh University, is the Ladies Youth DOC for FC Lehigh Valley United, and is the GM at the Iron Lakes Sports Dome in Allentown, PA. Dave has earned the Premier and DOC diploma’s from the NSCAA.