Now we are four matches through our ten match season. I’m still seeing a lot of improvement from both of our teams.
U8 Match Report
I really felt like the team was better prepared for today’s match than any other point in the season. We also had six players on the field for warm-ups before the game.
During the first quarter, I put our best four field players out on the field and they did a great job of working together on defending. I had given them positions (or roles) before the start of the quarter but they ended up coming up with their own system of play. What they did worked out well – They did a good job of keeping the other team out of the 18-yard box. Our opponent’s one goal was scored on a long shot that went over our keeper’s head. The players also played calmer – taking a little more time with the ball and not trying to play at a constant sprint. There were a few successful lateral passes as well.
I had a seventh player show up during the first quarter. At the end of the quarter, I switched players around and sent them back out. We still did okay with keeping the ball out of the box, but a few more slow balls found their way into the net.
Our biggest problem during the match was still balls being randomly kicked up field or abandoned by players around midfield. On the defensive half of the field, many of our players will just try to kick the ball as far as they can. When they get the ball, some of them get to midfield and then just kick the ball the rest of the way up the field. Really frustrating from a coaching point of view – they have opportunities but seem to be fearful of them.
One other problem I noticed on defense in the second half – when defenders got beat, they did little to try to regain position on the offense. They would watch or possibly chase from behind. We might need to work on defending from alongside an offensive player and using your body to gain an advantage on the ball.
The player who I worked in 1v1 on Friday night played improved defense. He engaged several times with the ball and successfully took a few balls.
U6 Match Report
Our U6 team played a One O’Clock match. It felt like the lowest scoring U6 match I’ve seen in a long time.
The kids seemed like they had rust. Just slow to respond and engage with the ball. I’m guessing the off week and 50% practice attendance didn’t help either.
On the upside, one more kid came really close to scoring this week.