Author Topic: 2021 Game Notes  (Read 45693 times)

Online SimpleCoach

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2021 Game Notes
« on: September 03, 2021, 06:33:10 am »
Hi.  Spent the evening scanning through some games online.  I don’t watch the full games, just a smattering here and there.  Thought I would exercise the mind and take notes on what I saw.  With some commentary. 

Not that I have any particular interest in outcomes of these games, but I have some opinions about the game that may or may not be popular and I like to put those ideas to the test.  Full disclosure, I’ve always said I watch a different game than most.  Not saying that to sound cool, just that I have had these ongoing debates with people.  So if you watched any of these games, and disagree with my snap assessments, that’s ok.  Not trying to stir the pot.

If you have a team you would want me to watch, will gladly take recommendations.

Online SimpleCoach

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Re: 2021 Game Notes
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2021, 06:37:42 am »
Here are my notes from September 3rd.  Watched three games -

1. Mount Union v. Denison
2. Clarkson v. Plattsburgh
3. Hiram v. Chatham University

Mount Union v Denison 9.1.2021
Mount Union Stadium
Bias?  I graduated from Mount Union and my son’s orthodontist went to Denison …

1st Half
   
  • The only control of the ball happens in the back.   Midfield serves no purpose in building out of the back.
    o   Have this theory that nowadays, midfielders are skipped over on the attack and have become nothing more than withdrawn forwards.  The value that used to be placed on midfielders “creating” is all but gone.  It’s left to center backs and outside backs and wingers.
       Runs are so north south.  Little to no movement off the ball, or space creation.
    o   Very few players know that making runs to open space is an objective in of itself. 
       For Denison, at 34.40, all attacks start with a long ball to a winger who has to chase it down before it goes out of bounds.
    o   Ugh. 
       Poor first touch, or way too many touches to achieve the same objective.
    o   Never, ever understand why this is allowed to happen.  Why take ten touches when two would have accomplished the same goal?
       Some decent one touch combination play from MU on the attack.  35/40 yards from goal.
    o   There were some good combinations high up the field for Mount Union.  Think defensively Denison was pretty disorganized allowing for it to happen.
       I don’t think there is a comfort with the ball under pressure.
    o   No matter how many rondo’s…
       Decisions are too slow to be executed.
    o   Taking a man on.
    o   Dribble or pass.
       Goal off a bit of a popcorn play (#12). 1-0
    o   Great hit to beat the keeper upper corner.
       No real patience on the ball.  Except again when in the back line.
    o   Go back to decisions being too slow and no real comfort with the ball while under pressure.
       Mount Union does manage the ball better than Denison.
       Mount more effective getting the ball forward.
    o   Quick on the break.
       Denison attacks like a club team.  Kick and hope.
    o   Ugh.
       Pressure not so organized.  One pressures, but others watch.
    o   Granted, game one.  But looks like both teams lacked a coordinated defensive posture.
    o   More like “I will press because the ball is close to me…”
       Stopped watching because of very poor video quality.
    o   Sun and shadows we making a mess of it.
       Didn’t watch most of the second half.
       Final 3-2 Mount Union.
Clarkson v Plattsburgh 9.1.2021
Clarkson University
Bias? I coached one of the Clarkson freshmen.

1st Half
   
  • First touches disappoint.
    o   Again, common theme.  Not sure if it is the turf, but good first touches are the exception not the rule.
       Struggle to get out of pressure.
    o   Could be early nerves since this seemed to get better.
       Plattsburg better on the ball; Clarkson rushing.
    o   Once the field opened up, Plattsburg had a very effective midfield.  Clarkson was much more direct.
       Plattsburg plays the ball on the ground and actually tries to break through lines.  Helps that their center back (Captain) and center mid (#11) have the skill to receive and move the ball.
    o   Lacked consistency especially as Clarkson pressed, but best use of a midfield I have seen in awhile.
       1-0 Plattsburgh ten minutes in.  Well deserved.
       Clarksburg needs to learn that they need to start giving the ball they would want to receive.
    o   Lots of poor balls, or difficult balls for players to deal with.
       Plattsburgh does suffer sometimes under Clarkson pressure … especially when the pressing is well coordinated.
    o   Think this let to one of their goals, and a few other opportunities.
       Didn’t see the tying goal.
       Wonderful Plattsburgh goal, control with thigh and volleys far post.  2-1.
       Plattsburgh, at least positionally, understands the game much better.  Uses space effectively.
       Clarkson too flat and static in the middle.  In contrast to Plattsurgh whose midfield is in constant motion looking for space.
       I hate, hate, hate the ball from an outside back to the winger that is running toward the sideline to open up space and has a man on his back.  Invariably leads nowhere.  I consider this the worst pass in the entire game.
       Half
       Plattsburgh moves with a purpose.  Very impressed.

Hiram College v Chatham University 9.1.2021
Hiram College
Bias?  I played against Hiram and my son just got an email from Chatham Soccer.

   
  • 1-0 Chatham when I joined.
       Chatham has an idea with the ball, although still mostly reacting to the ball as it is received rather than making the runs to open up the plays.
    o   Too many guys watching when someone has the ball.
       Hiram struggles to control the ball, looking to force it.
    o   Not comfortable with the ball.
    o   Lots of standing when they do win the ball.
       Hiram insists on trying to shoot from 35/40 yards.  Kind of goal if they scored once a season, would justify in always trying from that range.
       Both teams can’t keep the ball on the ground.  Chatham less so.
    o   Sure like to seemingly play Keepy Uppy….
       Chatham has some skillful players up top….
    o   Center forward and a winger.  Big, quick and strong.
       Halftime 1-0
    Ok.  Had enough.  Some more thoughts below…..

If I had to rank the teams based on my definitions of good soccer –

1.   Plattsburgh
3.   Clarksburg
5   Mount Union
7   Chatham
8   Denison
11   Hiram

What drove me crazy across all games?

1.   Do players not learn how to trap a ball?
2.   Quantity of errant passes.
3.   Midfielders basically non-existent other than to try to be a second line of attackers.
4.   Throw Ins that become 50/50 balls.
5.   The pass from the outside back to the winger who is running toward the sideline, away from goal, with a man on his back.
6.   Give the ball you would want to receive.  Is that so hard to teach?

Online SimpleCoach

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Re: 2021 Game Notes
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2021, 06:52:41 am »
September 4th Games -

1. Ursinus College v. Stockton University
2. Goucher College v. Cairn University
3. Haverford v. Cabrini

Ursinus College v Stockton University
Stockton University – Stockton Turf Field
Bias?  Stockton is near the Jersey Shore and I have been to Ursinus.

   Watched a bit today, so starting to nit pick.  Funny how you watch enough games (7 as of this one) you see the same patterns emerge.
   Tactics – Swing it out back.  Getting to the high and wide outside back, who launches it or try’s to get the ball up top. 
   For its part, Stockton holds the ball better, but think it is in part because they are not as high tempo as Ursinus.
   Receive the ball, turn into pressure…. Receive the ball, turn into pressure… receive the ball, turn into ….
   No idea about positional intelligence.  There are 50-yard gaps between players.
   Ok, watched too much today.  0-0 when I checked out.Nah.

St. Mary’s College (MD) v Stevenson University
Stevenson University – Mustang Stadium
Bias? I stayed at a Courtyard in Owings Mill, MD, where Stevenson is located.

   St. Mary’s has a couple big strong kids up top.  Already created some dangerous opportunity’s
   Actual play by a midfielder in their half – touch to receive, 4 touches to turn, two touches moving forward, pass between two defenders…. To another defender.
   Players struggle with the idea of positioning themselves to receive a ball in a way that reduces the work they have to do to keep possession, makes it easier for the passer to actually get it to them, and finally, give them the time to know what they will want to do with the ball before they receive it.
   St. Mary’s is better.
   Sloppy, lazy passing into the middle by the outside guys for Stevenson.
   Really.  Man on near post, on a corner, misses heading the ball, and actually hits the keeper and causes a ruckus in the six until it was cleared out.
   Poor passing.  Overall.  Again even passes that connect are poorly timed, poorly chosen, poorly executed.
   If I were playing one of these team, I would line up so that the force of our defense would be on the wings.  Double team the outside backs with the midfielder and a winger.  The outside back would then man mark their outside mid.  Force them to play in the midfield.  I wouldn’t defend any differently for that.  I would be betting that the opposition could not pass the ball, nor know how to attack down the middle.
   St. Mary’s best forward is lazy off the ball.  Just hangs out until he gets the ball.
   When they should play two touch, they play one touch.  When they should play two touch, they play one touch… and when they don’t do either, they play like 10 touch, with a couple of attempts at dribbling.
   Ok.  Am done.  Watched for 37 minutes. 


Goucher v Cairn University
Cairn University
Bias? Am a fan of old Gaucho Marx films

   The camera is field level making it difficult to follow.
   Not even sure who is who.
   I did see a sequence where they played Keepy Uppy with their heads, getting a high score of seven.
   Somebody scored, but can’t tell who.  Poor defense then led to a rebound that left the goal scorer wide open.
   Oh, just learned that was Cairn.  And in fairness, it looked like they deserved the goal.
   Goucher just opened the famous treatise on Chaos in the Cosmos and uses it as a game plan.
   Am done.  Sorry.  This will be a lot to a little for Cairn.

Haverford v Cabrini
Cabrini University – Edith Robb Dixon Field
Bias? – My nephew played baseball at Haverford

   Welcome to the Jungle blaring over the loudspeakers…. Let’s get ready to rock!
   There is something, not sure what, that I don’t like about moving the ball in the back side to side, when pressure is 20 yards away, and your center back is standing on the 18.   
   So anxious to get forward, Cabrini does a poor job of holding the ball.
   Haverford, certainly tries to work the ball in the offensive half, but seem to prefer to launch the ball forward first, then have the midfield step forward and win it back.
   Haverford moves well off the ball.  Cabrini can’t even connect a pass.
   Cabrini only pressing with one forward, the rest of the team doesn’t even cross midfield.  Probably cause Haverford has the better of the play and spending a lot of time in Cabrini’s half.
   Outside backs for Haverford just love to dump the ball up top.  Not even close to connecting with their forwards
   They score when they work the ball outside and drive it across. 1-0 Haverford 15th minute.
   Cabrini doesn’t have anything to respond with.  Lax defending, and careless when they do win it in possession.
   This game could be 4-0 by now.
   Ok, kind of a details guy.  If I were ever coach college again, I would make it a rule that if you are working the ball forward and you are passing the ball to someone making a run, if you pass it so they have to stop their run and take steps back to get the ball …. Say you pass it behind 5 times, you get to watch the rest of the game from the bleachers.
   Haverford from a throw in – to the center back, two touches, launches it that leads to a 50/50 and Cabrini get on the attack.
o   My theory on throw ins.  Except for the ridiculously long throws not everyone can do, you will never score off of one, so throw it to your safest option.
   Cabrini from a throw – to wing, another throw in.  Over forward, Haverford recover, then lose the ball and concede a corner.
   Say it with me, outside backs make terrible midfielders
   Brains and legs must be going because Haverford started playing popcorn ball, and Cabrini now looks more competitive.
   Haverford went de Mas a Menos, and Cabrini went from Menos a Mas.  The ebb and flow dictated strictly on the inability of Haverford to maintain good control of the ball.
   Am done.  Half.  Haverford up 1-0.


If I had to rank the teams based on my definitions of good soccer –

1.   Haverford
2.   Stockton
4   Cairn
5   St. Mary’s
6   Stevenson
7   Ursinus
8   Cabrini
9   Goucher

What drove me crazy across all games?

1.   Common theme of bad passing, excluding Haveford which I thought moved the ball quite well.
2.   Positional indiscipline.
3.   Throw ins.  Unless by your opponents 18 and in, throw ins should be a guarantee 100% ball for possession.
4.   Panic, not urgency driving decisions with the ball.
5.   Sunsets in the video cam.
6.     Passes behind the runner.

Offline Dark Knight

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Re: 2021 Game Notes
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2021, 08:24:34 am »
Hi.  Spent the evening scanning through some games online.  I don’t watch the full games, just a smattering here and there.  Thought I would exercise the mind and take notes on what I saw.  With some commentary. 

Not that I have any particular interest in outcomes of these games, but I have some opinions about the game that may or may not be popular and I like to put those ideas to the test.  Full disclosure, I’ve always said I watch a different game than most.  Not saying that to sound cool, just that I have had these ongoing debates with people.  So if you watched any of these games, and disagree with my snap assessments, that’s ok.  Not trying to stir the pot.

If you have a team you would want me to watch, will gladly take recommendations.

Interesting! Opinionated!

I'd love to hear your take on Calvin-Ohio Wesleyan, Saturday at 6pm Eastern time, https://calvinknights.com/composite?d=2021-09-04

Online SimpleCoach

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Re: 2021 Game Notes
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2021, 08:33:38 am »
Thanks @DarkKnight.  Never short of opinions ....

Planned on catching these games on Saturday -

1.  Catholic v Maryville (Tenn.)
2.  And now, Calvin-Ohio Wesleyan

Checking out some today as well ....

1. Clark Summit v PSU - Harrisburg
2.  Whatever floats my fancy.


Offline jknezek

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Re: 2021 Game Notes
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2021, 10:21:20 am »
Your critiques are long knowns about college soccer. The rules about practice time and substitutions make it a much more kick and run game for the vast majority of teams. You can recruit and sub in speed in unlimited quantities, whenever someone gets tired. It takes time and practice to build team work and finesse. With the current practice limitations, and the overwhelming plethora of games, practice time is limited.

The elite teams have players that can come into any team and know the beautiful game. But there are only so many of them, and most go D1, though D1 suffers from many of the same problems you are seeing. Below the top tier, you see mainly physical players. Speed, power, strength, some tricks on the ball. They can be good players once the team gels, but without enough practice to make that happen, the easy win strategy is kick and run.

Watch the top tier teams with a known system of not playing kick and run, Messiah is the obvious candidate though there are others. You will see a much more beautiful game.

Online SimpleCoach

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Re: 2021 Game Notes
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2021, 10:23:38 am »
@JKNezek

I understand all the issues.  Totally get it.  Would take it a step further and say that these players are learning their bad habits at the club level.  Like I said, I am just writing what I see.

Offline jknezek

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Re: 2021 Game Notes
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2021, 10:46:04 am »
@JKNezek

I understand all the issues.  Totally get it.  Would take it a step further and say that these players are learning their bad habits at the club level.  Like I said, I am just writing what I see.

I wouldn't completely disagree but, club level coaching is greatly improved from 10, 20, or the 30 years ago I played. My dad learned how to coach soccer from a few VCR tapes as he had never seen the game when I started playing in the mid 80s and he started coaching. Most of the club coaches I know today, at a level where players are being recruited for decent DIII teams, are at least D and mainly C licensed.

I coached all 3 of my kids for a few seasons pre-club level, they all ended up preferring martial arts, but the club our rec league was associated with paid half of my D level license. They were definitely wanting me to continue and were willing to pay my C level if I agreed to coach a travel team.

So I think the larger, more reputable club teams probably aren't so much the problem anymore. H.S. and college, with the way practices and seasons are set up, lend themselves to bad soccer.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2021, 10:50:15 am by jknezek »

Online SimpleCoach

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Re: 2021 Game Notes
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2021, 10:53:32 am »
Don't disagree there either.  Do think that club soccer coaching has improved, but for me, and my experience, coaches prefer automatons that compete these days ... so that can cover for their constant mistakes.


Offline Ejay

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Re: 2021 Game Notes
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2021, 11:46:04 am »
Haverford v Cabrini
   Brains and legs must be going because Haverford started playing popcorn ball, and Cabrini now looks more competitive.
   Haverford went de Mas a Menos, and Cabrini went from Menos a Mas.  The ebb and flow dictated strictly on the inability of Haverford to maintain good control of the ball.
   Am done.  Half.  Haverford up 1-0.


If I had to rank the teams based on my definitions of good soccer –

1.   Haverford
2.   Stockton
4   Cairn
5   St. Mary’s
6   Stevenson
7   Ursinus
8   Cabrini
9   Goucher

You missed a different second half.  Cabrini outshot Haverford 10-5 and scored two late goals to win 2-1.

Online SimpleCoach

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Re: 2021 Game Notes
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2021, 12:08:02 pm »

You missed a different second half.  Cabrini outshot Haverford 10-5 and scored two late goals to win 2-1.
[/quote]

Why I love this game.

Offline fishercats

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Re: 2021 Game Notes
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2021, 01:39:56 pm »
Excellent and lots of fun to read. Thanks for taking the time.

+1 on the Calvin-OW game. If you have time, Calvin and Hope both host OW and Ohio Northern this weekend. Love to hear your take on all of these teams.



Hi.  Spent the evening scanning through some games online.  I don’t watch the full games, just a smattering here and there.  Thought I would exercise the mind and take notes on what I saw.  With some commentary. 

Not that I have any particular interest in outcomes of these games, but I have some opinions about the game that may or may not be popular and I like to put those ideas to the test.  Full disclosure, I’ve always said I watch a different game than most.  Not saying that to sound cool, just that I have had these ongoing debates with people.  So if you watched any of these games, and disagree with my snap assessments, that’s ok.  Not trying to stir the pot.

If you have a team you would want me to watch, will gladly take recommendations.

Interesting! Opinionated!

I'd love to hear your take on Calvin-Ohio Wesleyan, Saturday at 6pm Eastern time, https://calvinknights.com/composite?d=2021-09-04

Offline Another Mom

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Re: 2021 Game Notes
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2021, 03:34:42 pm »
Love your commentary! What about watching Emory v Washington and Lee?  Tonight at 7.
https://www.emoryathletics.com/sports/msoc/live

Offline Saint of Old

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Re: 2021 Game Notes
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2021, 05:33:33 pm »
Don't disagree there either.  Do think that club soccer coaching has improved, but for me, and my experience, coaches prefer automatons that compete these days ... so that can cover for their constant mistakes.

Some great points, but I think that the club level coaches need to understand that whatever license you have does not matter unless we begin to pair intelligent coaches with very young kids.
I am talking about the U9 and U10 levels.
In football, the longer it takes you to get a touch, the worse your touch should be.

"Master the ball" Master the ball, you dont have to think about the ball,you can think about TIME/SPACE (the most important things in the game, and how to achieve it with movement and ball manipulation).
Club coaching has to focus more on explaining the game to kids and focus on learning the game and technical prowess not winning.

The U6 kids should be playing 2v2 competitions so they can become better at dribbling and shooting. They are too young to focus on passing at this time.

U7-U10 should be having 70% of practice on technical coaching and working on mastering the soccer ball.
Tactics should not be taught alot until U11/12.

These are just some of the things that would help in club coaching and none require a license, just soccer intelligence and common sense.



Offline jknezek

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Re: 2021 Game Notes
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2021, 06:45:32 pm »
Don't disagree there either.  Do think that club soccer coaching has improved, but for me, and my experience, coaches prefer automatons that compete these days ... so that can cover for their constant mistakes.

Some great points, but I think that the club level coaches need to understand that whatever license you have does not matter unless we begin to pair intelligent coaches with very young kids.
I am talking about the U9 and U10 levels.
In football, the longer it takes you to get a touch, the worse your touch should be.

"Master the ball" Master the ball, you dont have to think about the ball,you can think about TIME/SPACE (the most important things in the game, and how to achieve it with movement and ball manipulation).
Club coaching has to focus more on explaining the game to kids and focus on learning the game and technical prowess not winning.

The U6 kids should be playing 2v2 competitions so they can become better at dribbling and shooting. They are too young to focus on passing at this time.

U7-U10 should be having 70% of practice on technical coaching and working on mastering the soccer ball.
Tactics should not be taught alot until U11/12.

These are just some of the things that would help in club coaching and none require a license, just soccer intelligence and common sense.

Are they? I'll say this for the U.S. Soccer Coaching licenses, they have gotten quite good. The free online classes for rec kids are pretty good, and the D level course follows a lot of what you are saying. But there are still a lot of coaches at those younger levels who never played. And those of us that did, like me, can't apply how we were coached, playing 11 v 11 at 7 years old on full size fields, to the things that we should be coaching now.

So you are right, and I agree with what you said, but those things aren't common sense to a lot of the dads who make up the first coaches at 4,5,6 years old. For them, the 4v4 online course is really, really good and I encourage everyone I come across interested in coaching or assisting in those first levels to take them. The in-person courses I took to qualify for my "D" were even better, but I suspect that is a function of who is teaching. The curriculum is good, but it still needs to be taught by an engaging instructor.

Regardless though, yes there are tens of thousands of volunteer dads out there. Many don't know soccer or don't know how soccer should be coached. Hopefully the generation we are coaching now, with small-side games, high touch activities, age appropriate drills and concepts, will, in 20 or 30 years, be those common sense coaches. But until then, most coaches in this country still have a lot to learn, and U.S. Soccer is about the only ones who are willing and able to help.