(abbreviation is "ST") As used in SoccerHelp, a Stopper is a player who plays between the Fullbacks & Midfielders who is good at stopping attacks up the Center (straight toward goal), similar to a Defensive Midfielder. A Stopper is like a Pushed Up Center Fullback or a Pushed Up Soccer Sweeper and there can be one or two. Their job is to slow down the attack so Midfielders have time to recover to help defend. The Stopper can simply kick the ball out of bounds if needed to slow down a fast break by the opposing team. Even slowing the attack for ten seconds can stall the opposing attack by giving your Midfielders time to run back to help defend. The best Stoppers are brave, not afraid of contact and fast - a player doesn't need good soccer skills to be a great Stopper, but he or she MUST be fast and brave and able to stop or slow down attacks. With a great Stopper your team won't give up any goals on breakaways or fast transitional attacks. If you don't have many skilled players, save them for Center Midfielder and Forwards (Center Midfielder is a critical position in Rec soccer and the CMF should join in your attack). A Stopper is a good addition to a formation. For example, instead of playing a 3-3-1. push up the Center Fullback so it is a 2-1-3-1. See "Tips" for more about how & when to play a Stopper. NOTE: A Stopper can make an immediate HUGE difference in Rec soccer, but will make less of a difference in Travel soccer. The better the opposing attackers, the less difference a Stopper can make. Think about your situation and how goals are being scored on your team and whether a Stopper could make a difference. Ask yourself - Are we giving up goals on breakaways or fast transitional attacks and do I have a player who could play Stopper and slow down those attacks? (See "Formations", "Tips", Click here for an excellent article about how to select a Stopper, the importance of a Stopper and Assigning Positions).
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