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Ideas on Playing With a Front Two

I recently did a video analysis on my YouTube page with some ideas that I saw when University of North Carolina (UNC) played Florida State University (FSU). A couple of things stood out for me around UNC playing with a front two and FSU defending with a back three. In theory, the odds should always side with the defending team because of the numerical advantage, but there were certain movements and combinations that UNC worked extremely well and resulted in two goals in the game.

Below is the video of the analysis using KeyFrame that I highly recommend. They are one of the most efficient, effective and affordable solutions for coaches looking to build graphics and animations alongside their analysis work and are perfect for player meetings and remote learning. You can find out more about them here.

In addition to the analysis, below are a couple of ideas around working with your front two. One of the biggest challenges with forward partnerships can be the awareness of what the other player is doing and what the cues are in terms of movement. Below is a 8v8 possession game that has two center forwards in a small square on the inside of the playing area. No opposition (blue) players are allowed inside that area. To score a point, the possession team must transfer the ball through the central area and that transfer must involve a combination play from the two forwards. This works on angles, timing, and combination play for the forwards.

Another idea for a session with a front two would be to create the scenario from Situation Four in the video where the attacking mid now gets involved or Situation 2 and 5 where the wide player joins into the attack. Painting pictures that allow forwards to move in relation to teammates can also help create better decisions on the pitch. In the game below, it's a 7v5 to goal where the outside players have two touches and the inside players are unlimited. The reason for the touch restriction on the outside is to encourage a higher speed of play. Depending on what you want to incentivize the defensive team with, you can award a point from clearing or dribbling the ball out of the area, or add mini-goals and award an extra point for playing into higher areas.

This article was written by Gary Curneen. If you enjoy the ideas and are looking for more on session design and breakdowns, please check out the Modern Soccer Coach books here.

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