Saturday, September 22, 2007

This is Not For Every Team

Here is how the US Men's National team lined up against Brazil (a 3-2 loss in Sept. '07):

Cherundolo Gooch Bocanegra (capt.) Pearce

Bradley Feilhaber
Donovan Beasley



This is a fairly modern team structure, and is mentally challenging, as well as demanding great individual skill of the offense four (Donovan, Beasley, Wolff, and Dempsey). The great advantage here is the fluidity of attack, with the very easy addition of Bradley and Feilhaber (which actually happened in the game).

This kind of team organization is something to keep in mind for younger teams, but used only when the players' skills match the requirements of the kind of formation. Younger players tend to end up playing in three lines across the field 20 minutes into the game unless care in taken to make sure the striker is truly the point of attack, which is designed to bring surprise to any outside attack.

A strategy will work if the other team doesn't know how to handle it. If they see it and understand it, the advantage of the structure itself is minimized.

Better soccer players study and even invent all sorts of team structures and think about the advantages and problems of each.

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