ECLIPSE -Orange County, TX Div. II Soccer Team: Welcome

Go Eclipse
Welcome to the Eclipse Soccer team website. We are a girls' Division II, U14 soccer team made up of girls from Orange, TX and the surrounding area. Please check out our schedule and come see one of our games.

First to the ball................ Last to give up!!

Wednesday, November 22

The girls made tremendous strides this year. Each greatly improved her skills, aggressiveness, and understanding of the game. The team played short handed much of the season due to injury, but the girls on the field made up for the disadvantage with skill, determination, mental toughness and aggression. We played competitively in games where we only had 8 girls against 11, and after the games, the opposing coaches voiced respect for our team and distress at how they could not take advantage of our dilemma. The Eclipse coaches could not be prouder of the girls who played with all of their huge hearts.

Wednesday, November 22
Keep Checking the Site

Girls, please check the site regularly. I will be posting new articles and links about soccer skills, individual and team tactics at regular intervals. There is much to learn.

Monday, July 10
Watch and Learn

Sunday, July 2
Don't just "Space Out"

You can't just "Space Out" when you need to get open, pass the ball or dribble during an attack. Instead you must develope and use the concept of space which is the ability to see where the ball is most likely to go LONG before the ball gets there.

In soccer we tend to be unaware of what is going on around us and we react too late to the flow of the ball. The result is that defenders are constantly putting out fires because an attacker gets behind them. Attackers make bad passes, dribble into trouble and we play kickball.

How do you learn about space - where to run to; seeing holes; seeing where the second pass from the attacker might go to; and knowing how to create space for your teammates?

The answer is AWARENESS.

While you scrimmage, watch a game or play a game; try to predict where the ball will most likely end up after two or three passes. Try guessing, then run to that area or get near that area and see if you are right.

Watch the ball movement all the time, even when the ball is 80 yards away from you. You will begin to see predictable patterns of passing, predictable locations where the ball will travel to and predictable vulnerable spaces that can weaken your defense.

The purpose of the attack is to create open space and create opportunity. The purpose of the defense is to close down the space and stay compact.

I believe you can rapidly learn about soccer and become one of the rare youth players that have field sense, even without touching the ball, just by watching the predictable flow of the game and the ball. This is another good reason to watch professional soccer on TV. Watch the game and guess where the a professional player will dribble or pass the ball, (if he has the ball), or where he goes to receive a pass, (if he doesn't). After a short time you will get better at anticipating and your game play will greatly improve.

Try making this your most favorite part of your defensive game: having the awareness to anticipate where an opponent will make a pass long before it is passed and hanging back until the pass is made, then...EXPLODE!!!...rush and intercept the pass and start a new attack in our direction. For the offensive part of your game try having the awareness to anticipate where your teammate will make a pass into open space, hang back and remain onside or fool your opponent, then...EXPLODE!!!...beat your opponent to the ball and maintain possession long enough to dribble or pass into open space.

Saturday, May 13
8 Deadly Sins of Soccer

These are my Eight Deadly Sins of Soccer - These are the areas (tactical and technical) that I will watch for every practice and game this year. The following list is not intended to be presented in any kind of prioritized sequence:

1. square balls across the middle
2. stopping the ball
3. GK staying on the line
4. vertical support positioning
5. allowing the attacker to dribble the goalline
6. standing waiting for the pass
7. body position is not open to the field
8. receiving the ball with the wrong foot

Square balls across the middle--this is an absolute no-no in the defensive third. Square balls across the middle occurs when 2 players are an equal distance from the goal and one player passes the ball to another. A square ball is the easiest ball to intercept. It also implies lack of support behind the passer. If an opponent incepts a square ball, the passer and receiver must start their recovery runs from an equal horizontal position. This gives the interceptor a head start on goal, as the passer and receiver must recover from greater distance. Instead of square balls across the middle pass at an angle.

Stopping the ball--players that "trap" the ball to a stationary position are easy to target by defenders. If the defender is closing down a receiver as the ball is arriving, the defender does not have to change course or angle of run if the receiver "stops" the ball. Also, a player that plays with the ball in one spot often invites his teammates to go into hibernation while they wait for that player to do something with the ball. There are some very good distributors that can "hold up the ball" until runs develop. Even though the ball seems to be stopped with these players, it is actually being moved in a very precise way.

GK staying on the line--as attackers and the ball gets closer to the goalline the goalkeeper must start to cut down the shooting angles by moving out. If the GK moves too soon, he may be open to a ball over the top. However, staying back on the line is an invitation to shoot at a wide open goal. In most situations, a GK should be at least 3-4 yards from the goal line when the ball is in the middle of the field and within shooting distance.

Vertical support positioning--standing directly behind or directly in front of a player with the ball is a problem. Players need to support the ball at angles. If a ball player is going to pass the ball to a player directly behind him, he must turn 180 degrees to get the ball back. With angled positioning it is only a half a turn. Also, the angled pass changes not only the vertical level, but the horizontal one as well. If a player is directly in front of the ball, he will have trouble turning and will not be open to the field. A player directly in front of the ball carrier also takes up valuable space the dribbler can go into.

Allowing the attacker to dribble along the goalline--attackers that get to the goalline must be kept wide. Defenders that overplay or over commit against an attacker that is wide can allow the attacker to dribble towards the goal along the goalline. This destroys a defense, as passing angles are created that will carry the ball away from the GK and into onrushing attackers. This is similar to giving up the baseline in basketball.

Standing waiting for the pass--it is a flat out sin not to go to the ball when under pressure.

Body position is not open to the field--players whose shoulders and hips face the ball do not usually have a body position that allows for viewing of the field. If the position is open to the field, there are more options available and known to the attacker after receiving the ball.

Receiving the ball with the wrong foot--players that reach for a ball on their left side, by stretching there right leg across there body cause themselves several problems. First, the support foot is immobile in order to support the other leg stretch. Second, the reception is with the outside of the foot or leg which is a much tougher area to control a ball. Last and most important, the player cannot immediately react to the touch without several adjustment steps. Essentially, the ball is stopped and the player is stopped because the feet are not in position to do more.

Go forth and sin no more!

Friday, June 9

If you are bored and want to watch something other than MTV here are some Ronaldhino clips and more.