Sunday, November 25, 2012

Help for the Soccer Weary

University play is in full swing across the US of A. NCAA, NAIA, NCCAA, it is all good. Well, we hope it is ... better.

Friday, August 31, 2012

MLS Defenses often...stink.

This is a simple one to explain. The player who makes the impressive breakaway will NOT score a goal. He has no angle. He needs help. The defense leaves the offensive support wide open in the middle. I make an obvious point to say that an offensive player 6 feet in front of the goal should usually be covered goal-side like police on a drunk driving: Only bad things will happen if you don't!

Boys and girls: Don't copy this defense. They are weak. I know, I know. They are "professionals". Professional in MLS defense does not mean competent.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

UC Santa Barbara does it again

From Soccer America:
UC Santa Barbara became the first team to draw two crowds of 10,000 or more in a season when the Gauchos attracted 11,242 fans -- the sixth largest crowd in NCAA regular-season history -- for their 2-0 win over Duke.
The soccer attendance story of 2010 rolls forward again. Tennessee has football, Kentucky has basketball, but CA has soccer.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Defenses the World Over Feeling Generous: Encourage Being Scored On

The first 30 seconds of the video show that "professional" doesn't equate with "I know what I'm doing." The ball is played into the box and then incorrectly played right back to that player. Perhaps the defender thought it was a practice day and they were supposed to just give "passive defense." Then, the ball moves to a man who isn't covered for at least ten yards even though the play is dangerously close to goal. He shoots the ball. Yet another defender, perhaps seeing that his own goalie will have an easy time with it, deflects the ball into the corner of his own net. You think I'm exaggerating. Roll tape.

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to a Perfect Record

#1 Ranked and revered Akron men's team was only able to manage a 2-2 draw against #19 Ohio State. This means, oh my, Akron isn't invincible. Here is Akron's video summary of the match along with a game report.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Textbook: How to Give Away Goals

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Here you will immediately notice a Chicago Fire player (in red, of course!) completely unmolested and easily able to receive a pass. Both players are in the offensive half. This is professional soccer? There are ways to mark up these guys to cut down the number of successful forward passes. I have heard the arguments for giving quick offenders space for fear they run by you freely and then are a massive threat. Isn't this pro soccer? Isn't everyone fast? and, Aren't defender able to rotate over and cover that stray offensive player that gets by someone? Yes, yes and yes. San Jose just looks lazy here.  It should be very difficult to receive the ball while facing forward in the offensive half, not easy as it is pictured here. Defenders are there to contest, molest, harass, and generally be complete pains in the neck for the offense every second of the game.

This was a key game for a San Jose side that is on the bubble to advance in the playoffs. This weak effort shows that they aren't up to muster at this late point in the season. No surprise that they went down to an embarrassing home loss that night.