3 v 2 Small-Sided Group Defending Game

The following comes from Don Herlan (Smedley). Much more like this can be found from Smedley on his site at www.smedleyssoccersite.com.

Read our exclusive interview with Don in Best of Amplified Soccer Training Volume 1!


Set Up: There are twelve players set up on a split field, playing 3 v 2 with players starting from the sideline.

Procedure: During the game, the attacking team starts in the defending half, and the defenders may not cross over the midfield line. Play continues 3 v 2 to completion from there. On a goal or a turnover, the ball is played to the goalkeeper and the direction of play reverses. The two defenders (Players A and B) stay on the field and become attackers, and one new attacker (Player C) enters play. Two new defenders (Players 1 and 2) enter the field in the other half, and play continues from there.

3 v 2 defending game

Teaching Topics:

  1. Defending 1 v 1
  2. Tandem defending
  3. Communication

Progressions: A third defender comes on after the third pass is made.

Coaching Points:

  1. The 1st defender pressures the ball and forces the play in one direction.
  2. The 2nd defender goes to the first pass, and the 1st defender drops straight back.
  3. The goalkeeper must aggressively send defenders to the ball with each pass.

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