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Post by Gunner9 on 04/06/13, 01:35 pm

Since every single team in every age group looking for players plays "possession-style" soccer, exactly where are those fabled NTX kickball teams? Have they become extinct?
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Post by Guest on 04/06/13, 01:41 pm

They are still out there buddy. Ive heard a few "BIG KICKS" out around the field in the last month or so. Always makes me chuckle a bit.

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Post by bigtex75081 on 04/06/13, 01:45 pm

I think anybody that posts that they're looking for a "possession-style" team should automatically be required to define the term "possession-style" before their message is posted.
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Post by Guest on 04/06/13, 01:49 pm

bigtex75081 wrote:I think anybody that posts that they're looking for a "possession-style" team should automatically be required to define the term "possession-style" before their message is posted.

This could be good!! haha

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Post by intrinsic on 04/06/13, 02:10 pm

I don't care how they define it- I want to see the evidence. What is "evidence"? One very simple measure is how many times in a game a team completes 5 or more consecutive passes. I am not saying that this leads to winning, or is always the rigbt way to play in all match ups, or that possession equals goals, etc. However, simply counting passes quickly and simply gives you an idea of whether a team is playing anything resembling "possession soccer". There are many games at all ages in LHGCL in which there are very few sequences above 2 consecutive passes.

The website 3four3 has great videos of boys U11 playing great soccer in this style.

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Post by MoveYourFeet on 04/06/13, 02:25 pm

I was at a game recently of U9 boys. It was billed as a game of 2 top teams.

One team played a possession-style game (or at least what we NTX parents would call it) while the
other team played more direct and attacking game. Every ball from the latter team would be played
to the forwards as soon as possible from wherever possible. The defenders would bypass the mids
and just send it straight into the offensive zone with hopes the forwards could outrun or out-physical
the other team. In short, it was ugly soccer.

The possession team worked the ball and created opportunities through movement off the ball. It was
impressive when it worked, but being U9, they would often screw it up with an errant pass or incorrect run.
But you could see what they were trying to do.

The game ended tied (3-3 I think).

But as they coach I was watching the game with said, "One team was playing chess, the other team
was playing checkers."

That about made the most sense to me to describe what I was watching.
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Post by ThisNameIsCool on 04/06/13, 02:39 pm

"Chess" is a perfect analogy.

And chess champions always play with the next 5 moves in mind. It's patience when needed, control of each moment - pursuit at proper time and proper pace... combining over and over until you get the postion of maximum opportunity or discover a chink the opponent's armor...then attacking that moment, while preparing to react to their defensive effort in perfect balance and harmony.

Or you can connect 4 passes out of the back, play it up top to the fast kid for the 5th and call it possesion.
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Post by Guest on 04/06/13, 02:43 pm

MoveYourFeet wrote:I was at a game recently of U9 boys. It was billed as a game of 2 top teams.

One team played a possession-style game (or at least what we NTX parents would call it) while the
other team played more direct and attacking game. Every ball from the latter team would be played
to the forwards as soon as possible from wherever possible. The defenders would bypass the mids
and just send it straight into the offensive zone with hopes the forwards could outrun or out-physical
the other team. In short, it was ugly soccer.

The possession team worked the ball and created opportunities through movement off the ball. It was
impressive when it worked, but being U9, they would often screw it up with an errant pass or incorrect run.
But you could see what they were trying to do.

The game ended tied (3-3 I think).

But as they coach I was watching the game with said, "One team was playing chess, the other team
was playing checkers."

That about made the most sense to me to describe what I was watching.


What teams are talking about? I know some of the u9s and they do have some good teams in the league. FCD Gomez, Solar Red and Odyssey 04 try to play a style to pass and keep possession. Wonder what teams you saw.


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Post by Guest on 04/06/13, 03:06 pm

Truth is very, very few teams play possession soccer if they have the athletes to play direct in youth soccer. DD has been on a team that played possession till the horses were recruited, then it was off to the races.

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Post by 00scrmom on 04/06/13, 03:11 pm

ThisNameIsCool wrote:"Chess" is a perfect analogy.

And chess champions always play with the next 5 moves in mind. It's patience when needed, control of each moment - pursuit at proper time and proper pace... combining over and over until you get the postion of maximum opportunity or discover a chink the opponent's armor...then attacking that moment, while preparing to react to their defensive effort in perfect balance and harmony.

Or you can connect 4 passes out of the back, play it up top to the fast kid for the 5th and call it possesion.

100% agree on the above.
Especially the part about patience. Patience is exactly what is needed and it's hard to teach patience to players when all they hear screaming in the background is "kick it", "boot it", "clear it", etc, especially living in a society where when you want something you have to have it now. Girls get all frazzled because the coach is trying to teach them one thing and parents are yelling at them to do another!! affraid
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Post by Anarchy on 04/06/13, 03:14 pm

We dont posses the ball we put it in the back of your net!!! Posses all you want on your back line so our fast forward can intercept and drill it past your keeper Basketball #winning

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Post by RightWingDad on 04/06/13, 03:25 pm

IMHO I think the best teams should have both possession and direct styles in their bag of tricks. Possession style is much harder, especially at 10 years old thinking the 10 field players can connect 3-5 passes without falter or interceptions. When young players learning the possession style are faced with a aweful playing surface (bumpy pitch) it makes it harder to connect the passes. At those times, it may be more beneficial to go the direct route if you can.

I'd hate to be a golfer with only a sand wedge in my bag. Sometiems it nice to have a set of drivers and long irons to suit the occasion.

Bottom line? Skills and decision making are most important so that one can deploy any tactic needed to win the game.

Just my opinion.
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Post by yea..yea..whatever on 04/06/13, 03:50 pm

[quote="ThisNameIsCool
Or you can connect 4 passes out of the back, play it up top to the fast kid for the 5th and call it possesion.[/quote]

Yep... come tourney time and wanting a win, fast kid 1v5 who wouldn't think of passing across the middle to a teammate...

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Post by MoveYourFeet on 04/06/13, 04:10 pm

RunsLikeWind wrote:
MoveYourFeet wrote:I was at a game recently of U9 boys. It was billed as a game of 2 top teams.

One team played a possession-style game (or at least what we NTX parents would call it) while the
other team played more direct and attacking game. Every ball from the latter team would be played
to the forwards as soon as possible from wherever possible. The defenders would bypass the mids
and just send it straight into the offensive zone with hopes the forwards could outrun or out-physical
the other team. In short, it was ugly soccer.

The possession team worked the ball and created opportunities through movement off the ball. It was
impressive when it worked, but being U9, they would often screw it up with an errant pass or incorrect run.
But you could see what they were trying to do.

The game ended tied (3-3 I think).

But as they coach I was watching the game with said, "One team was playing chess, the other team
was playing checkers."

That about made the most sense to me to describe what I was watching.


What teams are talking about? I know some of the u9s and they do have some good teams in the league. FCD Gomez, Solar Red and Odyssey 04 try to play a style to pass and keep possession. Wonder what teams you saw.


I'll just say this...Solar Red 04 was playing chess. They are a very impressive group.
Well out in front of all the other 04s regardless of what scores say.
They do it properly and at a high level.
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Post by Guest on 04/06/13, 04:22 pm

MoveYourFeet wrote:
RunsLikeWind wrote:
MoveYourFeet wrote:I was at a game recently of U9 boys. It was billed as a game of 2 top teams.

One team played a possession-style game (or at least what we NTX parents would call it) while the
other team played more direct and attacking game. Every ball from the latter team would be played
to the forwards as soon as possible from wherever possible. The defenders would bypass the mids
and just send it straight into the offensive zone with hopes the forwards could outrun or out-physical
the other team. In short, it was ugly soccer.

The possession team worked the ball and created opportunities through movement off the ball. It was
impressive when it worked, but being U9, they would often screw it up with an errant pass or incorrect run.
But you could see what they were trying to do.

The game ended tied (3-3 I think).

But as they coach I was watching the game with said, "One team was playing chess, the other team
was playing checkers."

That about made the most sense to me to describe what I was watching.


What teams are talking about? I know some of the u9s and they do have some good teams in the league. FCD Gomez, Solar Red and Odyssey 04 try to play a style to pass and keep possession. Wonder what teams you saw.


I'll just say this...Solar Red 04 was playing chess. They are a very impressive group.
Well out in front of all the other 04s regardless of what scores say.
They do it properly and at a high level.

Agreed, they are good to watch.

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Post by Lawnboy on 04/06/13, 06:25 pm

I have long argued on these boards that possession vs. direct is really two sides to the same coin. Possession is fine, but you have to be able to attack and score at some point.

The Spanish teams may have had their day in the sun. We first watched a mediocre Arsenal team beat Barcelona by pressuring their front third relentlessly while letting them possess all they want in the backfield. When opportunity presented itself, Arsenal attacked with quick counters and won the day with speed.

Now Germany has institutionalized the approach. In the recent Champions League semi-finals, Barcelona out possessed Bayern Munich 60%/40% across both games. Yet Bayern kicked their butt 7-0 in combined scoring and had more shots on goal. Their approach? Patience with letting Barcelona possess in their defensive end, but attacking with fast-breaking direct play utilizing incredibly skillful players with great speed on the outside once they obtained possession. There was a similar tale to be told in the Dortmund v. Real Madrid matches.

Here are all the gory details (read it and weep, tika-taka fans):
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324659404578501103224437768.html

The possession game is great when you need to kill the clock, but unless you put the ball in the back of the net, it's pointless. I've always said, while Barcelona is considered so great because of their possession game, I consider them great because they are so capable of the quick attack when the time comes. With Messi's quick-burst diagonals through the back line, their through balls and over-the-top dump & runs are among the most effective on the planet.

They just tend to wait so long, moving the ball up the field with so many short passes, they allow their opponents' defense time to fall back and reset. The Germans prefer to attack while the defense is pushed up high and yielding space, and they found massive success with that approach this year. It will be interesting to see if it continues.

I don't think either approach is right or wrong. You play the scheme your personnel enable you to. For all the talk about the amazing passing skills required to play possession, the requirements are arguably greater to pull off an effective direct style of play.

It's not too tough to pull off 5 consecutive passes if 3 of them are across an empty backfield between defenders. Try to string 3 passes together while at full speed and covering 80 yards of space without breaking your teammates' stride or altering their course. Incredibly difficult. Which is why teams that attempt it frequently do not fair too well - it's very difficult to execute.


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Post by InaB on 06/06/13, 09:38 am

OK, I was so totally going down the wrong path on this topic. I thought it was about a new ghost hunter program about being possessed! DOH! Razz
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Post by Gunners on 06/06/13, 09:41 am

RightWingDad wrote:IMHO I think the best teams should have both possession and direct styles in their bag of tricks. Possession style is much harder, especially at 10 years old thinking the 10 field players can connect 3-5 passes without falter or interceptions. When young players learning the possession style are faced with a aweful playing surface (bumpy pitch) it makes it harder to connect the passes. At those times, it may be more beneficial to go the direct route if you can.

I'd hate to be a golfer with only a sand wedge in my bag. Sometiems it nice to have a set of drivers and long irons to suit the occasion.

Bottom line? Skills and decision making are most important so that one can deploy any tactic needed to win the game.

Just my opinion.

This.

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Post by Guest on 06/06/13, 10:10 am

Yes you need both to win, but we need to be careful comparing what Pros do to what kids do. I love a possession team but have grown to detest tiki taka's version of possession on steroids. Germany, Arsenal, Madrid and Man. U can all be classified as possession teams that are direct when needed.


But a certain baseline of technical excellence is required of ALL the players for a team to effectively possess. It takes years to master, and even one or two on field who don't have it is enough to wreak havoc on a team's ability to keep the ball.

That's why we're better off teaching kids to possess when they're young. A technical player can play any style, but a kid who grew up on direct teams is tactically behind and has little chance to impact the game outside of their physical ability (pace, size, strength, fitness). That has to be a reason NTX wins so many games but so few players can play at the top level. Yeah we know chi is good, but we're not proportionately represented on senior or youth national teams. Vast majority of ntx teams from ecnl on down play hyper direct soccer.

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Post by clueless on 06/06/13, 10:23 am

As the kids get older, scoring becomes quite a rarity. A big forward will produce wins (albeit ugly).
If you have a horse, you tend to ride it until it tires - nothing wrong with that. If you are a coach and you have someone who is tough to defend - make the most out of them. The problem comes into play when one or two defenders can shut them down (then, you are looking for a tie at best).

My son played on an Argentinian-coached team that was smaller, slower, but was at the top of D1 solely because we were drilled in Futsal from around U7. All players knew how to play in triangles, all took shots in games - we never relied on target players or specialized forwards to do all the scoring.

It's extremely difficult to do this as you need 11 competent players - that's not as easy as you think with the amount of teams around NTX. Practices were a circus of balls in the air and constant touches. It was pretty amazing and enjoyable to watch. Very hard to plug-n-play too - takes years of chemistry or very special players.

On the girls side, I've seen several teams (D1 to D2) that attempt moving the ball (nothing 'over the top' - only through-balls). The thing that prevents the consistency is the occasional player who is not on their game or just slightly behind in skills.

At U14 and below - anything over 4 passes is a rarity, IMO. I still rarely see more than just forwards score on the girl's side as well, the exception is girls making overlap runs about as often as Romo wins a game.

Our posts overlapped 3-4-3 - same thinking! Thx.
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Post by SD69 on 06/06/13, 10:32 am

How many times does the entire team, maybe minus the CB's, enter the offensive side. If it is dump and chase for your horse up front, the rest of the field typically won't be able to get there. Teams should take advantage of what is given them, but to say a minimum number of passes is required is erroneous.
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Post by clueless on 06/06/13, 10:52 am

soccerdad1969 wrote:How many times does the entire team, maybe minus the CB's, enter the offensive side. If it is dump and chase for your horse up front, the rest of the field typically won't be able to get there. Teams should take advantage of what is given them, but to say a minimum number of passes is required is erroneous.

In order to get your team up there, you do need multiple passes. There is no magic number. At the younger ages, a simple ball down the line might be chased down all the way to the goal (no super long pass needed), as they get older - you can't rely on a race to the goal. One kid at U10 can win EVERY game - seen it and lived it several times.

To get the middle of team involved, most likely it will require passes coming from the sides or even back from the fwds into the pack.

Tougher to find enough girl athletes to do this, much easier to use boys, unfortunately. A side note, anyone else get a kick out of how girls play balls (or avoid them) out of the air? Whereas boys come out of the womb doing bicycle kicks. My coach and I always laugh about that - played Sweden in a tourney and playing bouncing balls poorly is indeed an international problem.
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Post by dadof3 on 06/06/13, 11:17 am

There have been several posters who have said something similar to this, but to add...
When you go get your license, the instructors emphasize the quick counter attack if possible (transition to offense). It is still possession if you are playing to feet or into unmanned space. From what I gathered, this is the directive from US Soccer. That ISN'T saying they want players to play kickball, but that a long pass IS possession if you do it under those cicumstances. Some people don't understand the difference.
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Post by the7wolf on 06/06/13, 11:51 am

bigtex75081 wrote:I think anybody that posts that they're looking for a "possession-style" team should automatically be required to define the term "possession-style" before their message is posted.

Agree with that. It normally stems from somebody accidentally catching 10 minutes of a Barca game and deciding that's the way to go. Conveniently overlooking that said team has probably 10 of the top 25 players in the world in its squad.

Passing for passings sake with no progression and then losing the ball. Always fun to watch.

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Post by clueless on 06/06/13, 11:57 am

the7wolf wrote:
bigtex75081 wrote:I think anybody that posts that they're looking for a "possession-style" team should automatically be required to define the term "possession-style" before their message is posted.

Agree with that. It normally stems from somebody accidentally catching 10 minutes of a Barca game and deciding that's the way to go. Conveniently overlooking that said team has probably 10 of the top 25 players in the world in its squad.

Passing for passings sake with no progression and then losing the ball. Always fun to watch.

Definitely see this on lower level teams. Have the right idea without the right personnel. Third or fourth pass is usually under the fullback's feet to the charging forward for their fifth goal. Very similar to American football where a team, without any offensive line, runs up the gut for -2 yards over and over again (to set up the passing game...right?).

Wonder how many hoops coaches watch the Heat and determine that's they way they want to play (finding that middle school Lebron)?

As mentioned above, the length of the pass doesn't matter as much as the intent/direction. How often do you see a player just turn and blindly fire it to no one (all the time).
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