Orlando, FL – Today’s objective. Get back to our team identity of possession and pressure. During yesterday’s victories the standard of play left a lot to be desired. I don’t do excuses so the message is clear, refocus and get back to our bread and butter.
We will be playing El Temporal Azul. A team from Puerto Rico who dropped both of their games and has only pride to play for. With our 6 points and head-to-head advantage over Sunrise Elite and West Pines United FC 99/00, we are already qualified to the semifinals.
I left the hotel about an hour and half before the team was due to arrive at the fields to scout our potential semifinal opponent.
Toros vs Baltimore Bays game was going to determine who that would be. Toros was clearly the more dangerous of the two – based on what I had seen yesterday – and they took it to Baltimore. Final score: 3-0.
It was our turn; and for warm up I set up our 3 v 1 possession grids that tranlates into a 4 v 2 +1 double grid so the boys found their passing rhythm, awareness, and talking before kickoff.
It paid dividends since we played with composure and showed some quality movements. Today’s performance puts yesterday’s to shame. We were up against inferior opposition, but the fact that we were executing our patented system was what put a smile on my face. Another victory to wrap up pool play with a perfect 9 points.
Back Line: Louie, Mikey, Justin
MF: Richard, Charlie, Cesar
1-0 Richard finished off a nice cross from Cesar in the 12th minute.
1-1 Pk commited by Louie that was a very soft call by the ref. Goal in the 14th minute.
2-1 Alex collected the ball on the left, took a great first touch to his left and buried a shot far post for the lead in 24th minute.
3-1 Alex again put the finishing touches with a quality finish far post with the outside of his left foot after a great dish from Misa.
Sidenote: Little Neymar (Uly) put on a clinic in the first ten minutes of the game. He was flicking the ball over people (somberito), had a couple of jaw dropping megs and drew OOOOOOOLES from the crowd on hand. Just a little flavor provided by him at the right time when needed. Not showboating if it’s dribbling forward and effective. Some key players who had logged lots of minutes on Saturday got lots of rest to prepare for tomorrow’s semis.
The boys had a nice pasta dinner at Olive Garden with some salad and breadsticks before their 9 pm bedtime. Tomorrow is the huge semifinal vs Toros.
R10 fan says
Upset at US Open Cup. Lots of MLS thrown out. Even if it’s the reserve team shouldn’t these teams still come out on top especially representing their club and league? I like to see what you post about this one
R10 – Total agreement!
How competitive is that 3v1 to 4v2+1 warm-up? There is some theory not to put players in a “competitive” environment during warm-up so as not to risk injury. Watching elite teams such as Barcelona & Man United warm-up their guys are not doing any tackling.
I personally stick strictly to active movement, technical, and visualization warm-ups. They work if the kids heads are in right place.
I can see how competitive warm-ups identifies which kids are prepared to play and which aren’t though….wish I had done so now in hindsight for our last match.
Brian Kleiban says
The 3 v 1 and 4 v 2 + 1 are not aimed to be super competitive in warm up prior to a game. This was actually the first time I’ve done it in a pre-match warm up with this group. The main objective was to get our rhythm and the ball moving fluidly. The first 2 pool play games on Saturday were sloppy for many reason….jet lag? fatigue? heat? humidity? All of the above? I just wanted to get them in a flow before kick off and these exercises provided the perfect platform to get them in sync.
However, these same exercises are super demanding and have emphasis on many coaching points when done in training.
Dave C says
The heat and humidity may have been terrible but from the pics the surface looks great.
Brian Kleiban says
Yeah the fields were pristine! Was perfect for our possession oriented game. If you can’t play on those fields, you can’t play anywhere.
Gary a few questions:
Is that 3v1 side by side double grids?Do you use one ball for both or one ball in each grid?
To then progress into 4v2+1….
ThiKu great question how competitive are the sessions? How does Barca keep the competitive juices going? I know sometimes boys and girls have a tendency to just play at a slow pace if there is nothing to fight for.
What other versions of Rondo do they play?
Gary: What do you know about this Barca camp (FCBEscola) that is now in Portland Oregon?
Yeah, I am trying to figure out who this 3 v 1 turns into a 4 v 2 +1 as well, if Gary, Brian, or someone can give a further explanation of this warm up that would be great.
I work on 3v1 all the time with one touch or 5v2 one touch but I did not understand how the double grids work?
John Pranjic says
When I saw them run it they played 3v1 first and then progressed into 4v2 +1.
This video shows a 4v1 double rondo. http://youtu.be/KAHZRd2n6G0
Same idea. The 4v2 +1 only has a couple of changes.
1) When the ball is turned over TWO defenders would go in the opponents grid. You can designate those two players somehow or just send whoever is closest.
2) There is an extra neutral attacker.
Keep the space as small as you can while still allowing them to have some success.
Gary Kleiban says
You’ve got lots of question! 🙂
I’ll address the competitive juices for now …
In short, we build a culture in our players that basically holds a long-term view. They know they “aren’t shit” in soccer. They’re nobodies. And that is obviously balanced with the short-term joys of the game, celebrations, friends, victories, and all that good stuff.
Topdrawersoccer asked us that as well. Here’s a little interview they did with us:
Keep those questions coming Rosie! It helps me shape and mold the online coaching education I’m developing.
Gary, great article.
Curious about the USA Soccer Stars Reaching Semifinals of MIC 2012
“I had dinner with a scout from FC Barcelona after the game,” Juan Lopez said. “He told me ‘your son has no respect.’ I asked is that good or bad? He replied, ‘he is playing in this celebrated event like he would in the backyard.”
“The proud father chuckled at the notion.”
So was “no respect” good or bad? Coach sounds like an ASS..
“After the impressive finish, Lopez said that parents across the country have been reaching out to him to get their sons on the team in the future. He anticipates having a team compromised of players from all over the country for next year’s tournament. ”
Is this what elite youth soccer is all about? Parents from across the country finding an All-Star team for their kids. Sounds pathetic to me.
“It was a Cinderella run,” Lopez told TopDrawerSoccer.com. “They don’t expect much from us because we are from the U.S. but we beat some pretty impressive teams.”
Who the fuck cares if you beat European kids at 11-12 years old!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lopez’s team lost 5-1 in the semifinal to Atletico Madrid, but the coach said the game was closer than the score indicated.
“We hit the crossbar twice when the score was 3-1,” he added.
You SUCK if you can only hit the crossbar just ask the USMNT. Aim for the huge net next time.
Tell me more about Coach: Juan Manuel Lopez, Assistant coach: Jari Holopainen like coaching experience, licenses, resumes before I can decide if they are FOOLS.
Brian Kleiban says
John Pranjic was spot on with his reply.
First it’s 3 v 1 in an 8 x 8 grid or so. All depends on how technical the players are. First off, it’s a 2 touch maximum limit. You progress it to 1 touch.
After they have found a rythm in their passing you shift it to the double rondo. The side by side 8 x 8 grids have 4 v 2 + 1 neutral in there. That’s 7 bodies in a tiny square. When you see the ball circulating well in that limited space, you know the boys are ready to execute on an enormous field when the game starts.
I was thinking it was a beautiful pitch too! Was at SYL finals in Tampa and those pitches are downright dangerous. Orlando appears much better off.
I came across an interesting ebook called Developing the Complete Tactical Player. One part of ebook really stood out b/c I think it directly conflicts with the tactical pattern play talked about on the blog. The authors argue against game situation coaching (which I believe tactical pattern play would fall under) because the precise game situation being coached will never occur in the exact same way again, players cannot see the “wood from the trees”, and situational coaching doesn’t give players any principles or rules with which to solve the situation when it is slightly different/play against different defensive formations/play with a different attacking formation. Thoughts?
Gary Kleiban says
Logic is dangerous.
It regularly leads people astray.
Gary Kleiban says
Rich I’d be interested in browsing this ebook.
Do you have a reference?
Danny M says
It’s a world class coaching book.
http://www.coachingadvancedplayers.com/developing-the-complete-tactical-player. What’s your email address? I’ll send you a copy. I wasn’t that impressed. Just glossed over it this morning.
Gary Kleiban says
Expanding on my previous post about the ebook, it seems the authors dislike rehearsing game scenarios bc that exact scenario will most likely not occur like that in the game. I get that argument. However, they go on to say that they instead want to create training games that offer many choices but try to frame it in what part of the field it might occur. So my thought is that tactical pattern play could work to improve a players tactical flexibility it they work through different possible solutions through patter play before asking them to go full speed against defenders, no?
Danny M says
BTW, congrats in Orlando. A friend of mine was there and said you guys played well. Probably hard to compete against teams who play 8 a side all year long.
Brian Kleiban says
Thanks Danny. The boys finally hit their stride on the final day of competition. Unfortunately, we had to the play the final without a key piece, our CB who was injured late in the semifinal. That forced us to move pieces around and disrupt our rotation.
And yes, adapting on the fly and playing 8 v 8 was a hurdle since it had been over a year since their last game playing small sided. However, more so than the change in field dimensions or players on it, the fact that our boys were anywhere from a month to 18 months younger than our competitors contributed to not reaching our objective. Physically, at this age, it is a huge disadvantage. Some of the opposing teams had men playing against boys.
In the big picture, this trip was extremely productive from a developmental standpoint. Staying home and playing the local Cerritos Memorial tournament would not have put the players out of their comfort zone. Would have been just another thrashing and trophy in the shelf.
I believe we (players and coaches) learn more from defeat then we do with victories.
Tim H says
So how was the team that beat you in the finals? Did they have good skill and possession or were they just much bigger in size.
Brian/Gary, noticed the U9 & U10 boys won the Cerritos Memorial Challenge.
Do these teams look up to the U11 boys?
What do you tell the U8,U9,U10 boys about the U11 boys?
How do the U8,U9,U10 boys compare with respect to the U11 boys at those ages?
Is your U11 team playing Torneo Copa Chivas?
What do you look for when you scout opponents? Do you adjust your system or tactics based on the opponent or are you just looking for little advantages like noticing an opposing player with a poor weak foot.
I would guess you don’t adjust the system too much – it seems like your philosophy is pretty deeply rooted and you just do what you do – but I am interested in what adjustments or tweaks you make based on scouting insight.
Can you maybe give some examples of the scouting observations and associated adjustments from the tournament this past weekend?