Soccer Formations for 8v8 Travel Team
2-1-2-2 vs 2-2-3 vs 1-2-2-2 Soccer Formation

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Hi SoccerHelp,

I'm an assistant coach for my son's U10 Travel Team. Our team's core members have been together for 2 seasons and will be starting a third this Fall. They work well together but have always suffered from a lack of players on the team. At most we've had 11 and were lucky if 9-10 showed up for games. Fortunately for us (the coaches) we have 13 this coming season.

We have, for the past 2 seasons, played 2-2-3 formation (plus goalie). Towards the end of this last Spring season we tried using a center midfielder, but it didn't work well. I think that your 2-1-2-2 formation well make a HUGE difference this coming season. The depth we have with our past core players and the new players coming in will be incredible.

We have always had one very talented goalie, but we have picked up one more who is his equal. On defense we already have 3 solid players and now have at least 2 more. The remaining 6 players are definite strikers and mids. And among these are our fastest and best ball handlers so moving one of them into a stopper position is perfect (one of our defenders is also exceptionaly fast, has a great "leg", and doesn't tire easily).

Implementing the 2-1-2-2 formation with my Head Coach may be a challenge. But, I think that your site explains the advantages of a 4-line formation over a 3-line. Wish me luck.

Coach A, Premium Member

Hi Coach A,

Thanks for writing.

The trade-off, of course, is that you are giving up "width", but at U10 your players probably can't score on headers crossed from the side and your opponents can't either, so the danger is probably more from a frontal attack, breakaways and breakdowns in defensive coverage because someone is out of position. Additional depth would help in those cases.

Another option for you to consider is a 1-2-2-2 (using a Sweeper instead of a Stopper). With good, fast players, you could Push Up both Fullbacks and leave the Sweeper about 10 steps inside the Half Line (on your side of the field) and he should be able to stop breakaways IF he is fast, brave and not afraid of contact. Our local High School team, which is often ranked in the top 10 in the Nation and a few years ago was # 1, uses a Sweeper who stays about 10 steps behind the Pushed Up Fullbacks, and it obviously works out very well for them. They give up very few goals and no easy goals.

Good luck and please let me know what you do and how it works out. If the main coach isn't a Premium subscriber, it's ok if you let him use your Membership.

David at SoccerHelp

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