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Get Directions to Liberty LeopardsYoungstown Local Weather
Liberty Leopards
Michael G. Morelli
Fax: 330-395-1514
1 Leopard Way.
Youngstown, Ohio
  Soccer Tips/Drills  

spinning soccer ball
Corner Kick defending
Saturday, August 15
Defending corner kicks

When defending corner kicks, the first thing to do is have
the near post and far post covered.  Some coaches (and
keepers) don’t want to put someone on the back post but I
would recommend this in order to make the goal smaller.  The
key to these players being most effective is for their to be
a player beside each of the posts right on the end line.  If
the corner kick is coming from the left side of the goal
(from the keepers perspective) the player on the near post
would have their left should against the near post and their
body on the goal line.  The player on the far post would
have their right shoulder against the post and their body on
the goal line.  Some people stand slightly off the post when
they are in these positions but it’s important that the
keeper knows that this section of the goal is covered (the
primary objective of the people on the posts is to create a
smaller area the keeper will have to defend).  If the
players aren’t protecting that area, they are defeating
their purpose on being there.  These players on the posts
don’t leave their spot unless they know they can win the
ball, at which point they go and win it or the keeper tells
them to “get out”. Unless one of those two situations
arises, the players must stay.

The next thing I would recommend is having a player 10 yards
from the ball on the end line.  By having a player there, it
discourages a short corner kick and also limits the ability
for the ball to be driven toward the near post (which is
difficult for the keeper to defend).

I like to defend with a partial zone and partial man-to-man
defense.  A player lines up just inside the 6-yard box even
with the near post.  This player is responsible for any ball
played in front of them (which would usually be a driven
ball).  Another player lines up just inside the 6 at the
center of the goal.  This player is responsible for any ball
played between this ball and the player in front.  A third
player is just inside the 6 even with the far post.  These
three players have the “simple” job of winning any balls
that are played into their area.

The next player is between the 6 and the 12-yard spot.  This
person is responsible for any player who comes into this
area (and any ball played in this area as well).  Most goals
seem to come from this area (frequently in a case where the
ball is played in, headed or punched out and then an
attacking player comes from the top of the 18 for the shot)
and this player is there to prevent these types of second
chance goals.

Another player is positioned up at midfield.  There are a
couple of reasons for keeping a player at midfield.  The
first is it keeps a couple of players back defending (most
good teams will always want to have one more defending
player than the other team has attacking so by keeping one
player at midfield, it prevents two more players from
getting into the attack).  Also, when the ball is cleared,
by having a player upfront, there is someone who can try to
win the ball and allow the teammates to come forward.  If
there is no one there to win the ball, the other team can
quickly and easily win the ball and play it forward into the
attack again.

This leaves two more players to mark up man to man.  These
players would pick the two most dangerous players and mark
them to try to prevent them from getting to the ball.

An alternative to defending corner kicks with this
combination zonal and man marking would be a pure man to mad
defense.  Even with this, there would still be two players
on the posts and one up top (although I would also recommend
also keeping a player on the end line 10 yards from the

The real key to defend corner kicks is making sure everyone
on the team is on the same page and knows what their
responsibilities are.  Waiting for the situation to develop
and then trying to figure out what people should be doing is
not the right way to do it.  Good teams will know their
responsibilities in advance and react accordingly.

Strong soccer
Click here to see film clips
Tuesday, January 29
Film clips on many soccer moves

Click on the above icon to access the film clips on these soccer moves.

Select three to use and practice them to the right and left.

Do them over and over utill you can use them as your moves.


Coach Michael Morelli 

Ball into net
Click on the above image to view drills
Tuesday, January 30
Shooting drills to be used this season (2007)
This is a web page with many of the shooting drills we will be using this year to increase our goal scoring abilities. What player are you and where do you fit into these paterns of play? Will you be the x,y,z or S player in these drill paterns.

We now have the basic ball skills developed to start using some of these paterns of play. Please study this material before you get to preseason. It will help you alot!

Coach: Michael Morelli


Leopard running
Tuesday, August 21
Zone (Flatback 4 ) defending

Click on the above title to read more about zone defending.




spinning soccer ball
Target players receiving the ball in a "side-on" position
A target player is typically a forward who stays pushed up
so when his teammates have a passing opportunity, they know
they can play the ball forward to him (usually to feet) and
he can either turn and go to goal or play the
ball back and or off to a teammate. If a team doesn’t have an established target player (it doesn’t always have to be the same person and the target player can change on every possession), often there is a player by nature of the team's formation (a center forward in 433 or one of two forwards in a 442 system) that is assigned.

The objective for any team is to gain field depth and position without loosing ball posession. When the ball is simply cleared out of the defensive back, the opponent has advantage with his direction and his field position to gain pocession of this 50/50 ball. As a result, it is very important to play forward to your target player.

If you are the target player, and you have a defender
marking you tightly (which is normally the case). You
often will have to receive the ball under pressure. While it does help to check back to the ball, often you find that you still have a defender right on your back.

What works best here is to receive the ball "side-on", as opposed to receiving the ball with the defender on your back. If you receive the ball with your back to the defender,the defender can and will stab through your legs to poke the ball out. He can also back away and go around you to meet the ball before you have a chance to play it.

When you receive the ball "side-on" (which is when you get the ball the defender is in physical contact with your shoulder). You eliminate the possibility of the ball being poked away through the legs and also make it more difficult for the defender to get around you.

When you established deep field position and good "side-on" position with the defender, the ball can be played into you even with this defensive pressure. The pocession key is for you to receive the ball with the foot furthest from the defender. (with a right shoulder into the "side-on" position you should receive the ball with the outside of your left foot). Too many players receive the ball with the foot closest to the defender and consequently get the ball poked away.

By receiving the ball with the correct (outside)foot and in a "side-on" position to the defender, you will maintain possession and goal scoring opportunities.

Michael Morelli

Stick man ball shuttle
Thursday, August 7
Moves - Moves - and more moves on video

Click on the above stickman image to access this site. Click on any highlighted move listed to see a short video clip on how the move is done.

Select three to use. Practice them to the left and right.

Only doing them over and over many times, will they become your moves to use.


Coach Michael Morelli

Liberty H.S. boys soccer teams
Liberty H.S. boys soccer teams
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