All of your attacks will either start with a kick-off or a "re-start" (such as a goal kick, corner kick or free kick), or they will be "counterattacks" which start when you get the ball on a turnover from the other team. There are 2 types of counterattacks: One is a slow, patient, ball-controlling attack that relies on a lot of short passes in all directions (i.e., backwards & sideways as well as forward); the other is to launch a quick "direct attack" by moving the ball forward as quickly as possible into the other team's "Danger Zone". Unless you have a highly skilled team that can complete a lot of consecutive passes, the quick direct counterattack will be the most effective. The concept is very similar to a fastbreak in basketball and if someone says you are vulnerable to a counterattack they are referring to a direct, fastbreak counterattack. You are more vulnerable to a quick counterattack if you push up your FB's when you attack. There are 2 keys to launching a successful fastbreak counterattack: (1) When your goal is under attack, you must be sure that one or two of your forwards stay out toward the halfway line or even farther if the other team's FB's are deep. (Another advantage of this is it will force the other team's FB's to stay back, otherwise, they might push up closer toward your goal). (2) Your FB's or MF's must quickly kick the ball deep onto your opponent's half of the field so your forwards can win the ball and fastbreak. (See "Attacking", "Attacking Plan", "Breakaway", "Direct Attack" & "Formations").
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