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Defend the counter

This is an excerpt from Soccer Practice Games-3rd Edition by Joseph Luxbacher.

Minutes: 25

Players: 19 (10-player team and 7-player team plus 2 goalkeepers)

Objectives: To develop effective transition play in attack and defense; to rehearse group and team attack and defense tactics

Setup: Play on a regulation field with a full-size goal on each end line. Place a line of markers the width of the field, approximately 35 yards from each end line, to divide the field into three zones. Organize a team of ten and a team of seven; use colored vests to differentiate teams. Place a goalkeeper in each goal. You’ll need at least one ball; an extra supply of balls is recommended.

Procedure: Begin with a kickoff from center field. Each team defends a goal and may score in the opponent’s goal. The 10-player team must use three or fewer touches to pass and receive the ball; otherwise, regular soccer rules are in effect. The 7-player team has no touch restriction. The coach or an assistant coach should serve as referee. Every few minutes, whistle a halt in play and award the 7-player team a direct free kick from their defending zone. When the kick is taken, all members of the 10-player (defending) team must be in the middle zone. The 7-player team must serve a long pass off the free kick into the space behind the 10-player (defending) team. Opposing players are not permitted to enter their defending zone, marked by a 35-yard line, until a player from the 7-player team enters the zone and touches the ball. At that point, players can immediately track back in an attempt to defend their goal.

Scoring: Award 1 point for a shot on goal saved by the goalkeeper and 2 points for a goal scored. The team scoring the most points wins.

Practice tips: Encourage teammates to move forward quickly as an organized unit when on the attack. Defending players should play as a compact unit and must make swift and direct recovery runs to protect the space behind the defense.


There are 174 more games in Soccer Practice Games 3E.

More Excerpts From Soccer Practice Games 3rd Edition