Youth development is a huge part of grassroots soccer, providing the foundations and skill base for the future generation of players.
Naturally, younger players start out playing as part of smaller teams on scaled-down soccer fields.
Kids in the under 11 and under 12 age categories compete in 8v8 (including the goalkeeper) games under the US Youth Soccer regulations.Continue reading
One of the most important details a coach must settle on is the primary formation their team plays in.
The tactical shape is fundamental to how players perform individually and collectively.
Although the vast majority of teams play in the same handful of formations, this doesn’t mean they suit every side.
As a coach, you may have to look to variations of popular shapes or unorthodox setups to get the best out of your team.Continue reading
The 4-1-3-2 formation is one of the most popular setups in modern soccer, and for good reason.
With the right players, it offers good balance, exceptional spacing, and endless attacking options.
Success in this shape relies heavily on a dominant midfield anchor and a well-rounded partner.Continue reading
Shaped like a Christmas tree, this formation looks unusual on paper but can be highly effective in practice — especially if you have a team full of midfielders.
The narrow shape creates numerical advantages in central areas, allowing the team to advance the ball with quick one-twos and passing triangles.
However, the midfield-focus means attacks from wide areas are very limited.Continue reading
The 4-1-2-1-2 formation is a great option for teams with capable individuals in every position.
Efficiency in central and wide areas opens up opportunities to make chances from anywhere.
However, a lack of talent in the midfield makes this system difficult to execute effectively.
It may be a more suitable option as a backup formation or as a tactical change when a team is trailing.Continue reading