Ussf A License Goalkeeping Session

SoccerSpecific

Anthony Latronica has playing experience at the professional level in three different countries having played for Milwall in the English 1st Division, Padova in Italy and numerous MLS teams in the USA. He has represented the USA at U-20, U-21 and the U-23 level.  He is a member of the US Soccer Federation National Goalkeeping Instructional Staff – he is responsible for instructional components on USSF C, B and A courses. He holds a USSF ´A´ License.  The following session was presented by Anthony on a recent USSF A License course.

Activity #1:

Warm Up

Set Up:

18 players involved – 8 Red, 8 Yellow and 2 goalkeepers are postioned on a half-pitch as shown in the diagram.

Diagram A
Diagram A

Explanation:

Two players to a ball passing and moving freely throughout the playing area. Players must play the ball into either goalkeeper when the opportunity arises. Field players vary their service allowing the GK progression to include dealing with balls with their feet, driven balls low, medium and high. The last progressions include playing the ball into the wide channel for a service or playing your partner into the box for a breakaway.

Coaching Points:

  • The coach is positioned behind one of the goals.
  • Proper technique dealing with balls at the feet, low, medium, and high balls flighted in.
  • Clear communication and effective distribution as the first attacker..

Activity #2:

Functional Exercise

Set Up:

18 players involved – 8 yellows and 8 reds with a goalkeeper in each goal. Use half a pitch as shown in the diagram with two clearly marked penalty areas.

Diagram B
Diagram B

Explanation:

Red and yellow players alternate going to goal. As shown in the diagram, 1 Red has played the ball into the feet of 3 Red who takes a touch and goes to goal. 1 Yellow has played a thru ball into 3 Yellow creating a 1v1 breakaway to goal. 2 Red then must play a straight ball into the next 3 Red in line creating a slightly different situation for the goalkeeper to deal with. 2 Yellow must do the same. Keep the rotation going and make each of the servers change the pace, location and flight of the ball thus creating numerous goal scoring opportunities. Defenders could be added to address tactical organiztion of defenders.

Coaching Points:

  • Shot stopping
  • Breakaways
  • Communication
  • Starting position
  • Reading the flight/pace of the ball
  • Decision making of when to go and when to stay

Activity #3:

Small-Sided Game

Set Up:

Small sided: 18 players involved. 6v6 plus 4 channel players are organized on a half-pitch as shown in the diagram, one goalkeeper is in each goal.

Diagram C
Diagram C

Explanation:

Both teams compete for possession of the ball and attempt to score in their opponents goal. Channel players are encouraged to deliver crosses into the box at the earliest opportunity. Possible restrictions include: all players including the goalkeeper must touch the ball before an attack can begin. Service from the flank must be quality, manipulate the channel players to enable plenty of repitition for the goalkeepers. Encourage crossing and shooting, decision making, communication and distribution.

Coaching Points:

  • Goalkeepers technical execution of dealing with crosses, shots etc.
  • Goalkeepers may find the deepest target possible when distributing.
  • Organization of the defense, playing as a sweeper, starting position, and offer support in attack.

Activity #4:

Tactical Activity – Set Piece Game

Set Up:

An 11v11 set piece game is organized on a full pitch. Team formations are a 4-4-2 vs. 3-5-2.

Diagram D
Diagram D

Explanation:

Both teams compete for possession of the ball and attempt to score in their opponents goal. Throughout the run of play the coach will randomly award each team. 5 corner kicks, 5 free kicks, and 2 penalty kicks. A goal from the run of play is worth 1 point and a goal from a dead ball situation is worth two.

Coaching Points:

  • Defensive organization of walls on set pieces.
  • Starting position and adjustments in reference to movement of the ball and players,
  • recognizing pressure on the ball, range of coverage in the box.
  • Organizing the shape of the team in attack, switching the point of attack when needed, and a good understanding of risk/safety in the defensive third.