March 23, 2010 • Soccer

Soccer: 5 vs. 5 vs. 5 drill

This is a great drill to run at any level because it’s easily adjusted to work on the counterattack, playing against a team that sits and defends, playing with a single striker, playing direct, possession and attacking from the back.

DIAGRAM: Set up three teams of five, with two of the teams on the field. The field runs from the top of the two 18-yard boxes and is 50- to 60-yards wide. The third team is on the sideline but must be ready to jump onto the field when it is their turn. Keep a ball in both goals so the drill continues to move.

There are no restrictions and the two teams play 5-on-5. Players are allowed to pass to the team on the outside, but the outside players must get the ball back onto the field of play in one or two touches. When one team scores, those players immediately turn and attack going in the other direction. The team that conceded the goal runs off the field while the team off the field comes into play to defend.

However, if the attacking team misses, that team now defends the goal they were attacking. The keeper at the opposite end puts the extra ball in play, so the other team starts attacking immediately.

Be sure to encourage creativity from your players during this drill, like fast dribbling and combination play. And, players must move quickly when teams are moving on and off the field after a goal.

Emphasize moving the ball forward and stipulate that the first pass always must be forward.

Also, feel free to change the formations (1-3-1 or 2-2-1) to change the game. Another variation is to make certain passing patterns a priority. For example, a team cannot shoot until it performs an up-back-through or short-short-long play.

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