Your team is at the opponent’s goal and is about to score a goal. A lot of players commit because the situation looks promising. Suddenly, their goalie grabs the ball and launches the ball down field. Uh oh…it is a counter attack. You begin to backtrack and realize that you and your other defender are the only two players back while they attack with 3…and here comes the 4th. What do you do?
Clearing the ball in the defensive end is not enough. When you clear the ball you have to have purpose. This is especially true when clearing the ball from corner kicks. Many players make the mistake of clearing the ball up the middle of the field…we all know where those clearances usually end up: right back into your net. Here are 3 tips to make sure you effectively clear the ball every time.
Every off-season should be used to work on your weaknesses. Ask your coach and feelow teammates for feedback as to what areas of your game you need to improve. You may already have an idea which areas they are.
Many soccer players feel they cannot take a shot until they have either completely faked-out a defender, or until they have come the door-step of the net. What’s important to remember is that the more shots you take in a game, the higher the potential for a goal is to be scored. However, it is important to take educated shots.
The offside rule is the one rule everybody seems to kind of understand. However, taking the time to study this rule in detail is very important because it can be the difference between a goal and no goal.
The official rule is published in the Laws of the Game written by IFAB (International Football Association Board) and published by FIFA (International Federation of Association Football — French: Fédération Internationale de Football Association). The law states:
if a player is in an offside position when the ball is touched or played by a team mate, he/she may not become actively involved in the play. A player is in an offside position if he/she is closer to the opponent’s goal line than both the ball and the second-to-last defender, but only if the player is on his opponent’s half of the field.
Differentiating a player who is “actively involved” and not, has caused much debate. FIFA has been trying to re-interpret the rule to increase goal-scoring. In any case, the rule currently explains that a player will be in an offside position if three factors are met:
1. Player must be in the opposing teams half of the field;
2. Player must be in front of the ball; and
3. There must be fewer than 2 opposing players between the player and opposing goal line – the goalie counting as one of these players.
How do you know if you’re in an Offside Position
The Laws of the Game says that if any part of the players head, body or feet is nearer to the opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent (the last opponent typically being the goalkeeper), he/she is in an offside position. The arms are not included in this definition. Basically, any part of the attacking player mentioned above has to be past the part of the second-last defender closest to his goal line (excluding the arms) and past the part of the ball closest to the defenders’ goal line.
Still confused? Don’t worry. This has been a topic FIFA has had trouble defining for many years. Watch this video below by St. John’s University coach Dr. Dave Masur as he visually breaks-down the offside:
As our game changes, so must our tactics and thus our formations. The more we study the game the more we realize that there are ways to manipulate formations in order to create a means of either attack or defense. Even more detailed, you can tailor your team to play up the wings, down the middle, long balls over the top and etc.
As the different formations used in soccer have been manipulated and re-created, much of the responsibilities of each position have remained the same – for the most part. This holds especially true for the central defender.
The central defender is always the last line of defense (aside from the goalie) and is always the foundation of a successful team – the brain of a proper functioning system.
Here are 5 tips to becoming a successful central defender: