The US Soccer Development Academy held a showcase for its Western region academies at the Stubhub center a couple weekends ago.
Here’s a full length match between two MLS teams.
I think it’s important to make more matches like these available. That way the country can start better gauging what the team & player standard at different ages looks like.
Without a standard, we’re all navigating blind.
STL A-B says
Gary – very good video as always. A few questions I have after watching the video 2x. I have never seen SJ play so keep that in mind.
1.) Was this a combination of Plan A with Plan B? By that I mean seems like a lot of direct play from Defenders playing long balls “with intent” to the FWs. Seems like long ball was more than I have seen in the past. All balls had intent and were not random kickballs. I noticed SJ was playing a high block early and forced 2 turnovers from this…was scouting their defensive shape the reason for this? Or did you feel the high block combined with your speed advantage up front was a good strategy? There were also plenty of times Chivas worked the ball through the 1/3s with combos and thru balls…just seemed like a combination of Plan A and B?
2.) SJ goal kicks. A lot of times your teams want the ball played short on goal kicks in order to pressure. This game the intent was to deny the short ball and force the long goal kick. Why?
Gary Kleiban says
1) If an opponent is playing a high line and/or wants to try and press us, of course we’re going to expose that. We’ll do that at any level. But particularly in youth, we’re here to develop “complete” players that can recognize all kinds of scenarios. “Possession” based, however, is the foundation. And by the way, we do not have a “speed advantage”; we almost never do.
2) The opposite actually. We wanted them to play short.
STL A-B says
Thanks for the reply. I’m still learning…a lot.
Very few teams are organized at younger ages with pressing. For me (U9-10), when a team sees us Poob several times opposing coach shouts for “random” press directing kids up to mark short ball. We then long ball with a purpose to back them up or fake the long ball and go short. Opponent typically backs up at this age.. So far, I direct this strategy from the sidelines. Players definitely do not recognize presses. At what age do you recommend “coaching” this in practice? Do you review this during pattern Play out of Back while asking questions for players to recognize opponent set up?
Just looking for feedback on appropriate age and HOW.
Generally, when in the game do you prefer the slowing of pace (i.e. the pause). Is it simply based on how well organized the opponent’s defense is / numbers?
Watching these games is so valuable – your comments in the blog entry are exactly correct. Written coach resources are one thing, but without visual reinforcement, language breaks down and we can end up making claims of possession soccer while applauding jungle ball. Not to mention, coaches can criticize methodology, but it’s hard to dispute video of the real thing.
For me, the video evidence represents key milestones of the roadmap of player development. More than education on the game itself, it’s powerful evidence of what is possible in youth soccer. Without this “end” in the minds of coaches, we are flying blind. Thanks for your work!
Uly is good I wish y’all had a video of him scoring and shaking players
Who do you think is your fastest player
thanks again for the displaying the gold standard for all to see. Incredible work, kudos.
Dino Zoff says
Great play by the Chiva USA boys. Reminds of me of some friendlies my men´s team used to play in the 90´s. We were a bunch of ex college players, a mix of talented guys, but we did not practice, really. We would play some Mexican sides, and they would always have about 65% possession. I envied the guys and how well they played together. We always beat them though, 4-2, 2-1, 3-1. Why? They were horrible finishers. I tell you they should have always beat us 4-1 or 5-1!
The Quakes had chances to steal this game from the superior side. Number 9, nice player, but at minute 42 on the tape, he really had the entire left side (right of the goalie) to place the ball. Fine player, and I applaud his composure. The 2nd and 3rd goal for Chiva´s were gifts … horrible goalkeeping and bad positioning on the last one.
I just wanted to see Chivas score 4 or 5 goals. But they are learning, and these kids are great.
Well done Brian.
By the way, in your system, do you spend much time on finishing? There is a simplicity to finishing, for the great finishers … and also a killer instinct. Guys like Messi have it, of course. Do you agree that these boys need to work on finishing. Honestly, the result could have been 1-1 had that keeper not turned into Santa Claus on those two gifts.