U.S. Soccer Youth Curriculum

Discussion in 'Soccer Board' started by snowfx2, May 5, 2011.

  1. snowfx2

    snowfx2 Well-Known Member
    Los Angeles KingsLos Angeles LakersUCLA BruinsLos Angeles GalaxyLos Angeles Rams

    This was the curriculum Claudio Reyna and U.S. Soccer released a couple weeks back focusing on youth development starting at 5 y/o. I just did the highlights for style of play the USSF wants to promote. It's a small step that will always be hard to fully implement with all the different international coaching influences in this country, but at least there's something to go off of now.

    Reyna had a great quote at the conference this was released: "As a coach I would be embarrassed to list state and regional cups on my resume as a proof of ability"

    The curriculum contained 4 specific sections:

    Part 1 - Style and Principles of Play
    Part 2 - Concepts and Coaching Guidelines
    Part 3 - Age Group Organization
    Part 4 - Planning and Training

    This link has PDF's to each section: http://www.ussoccer.com/Coaches/Coaching-Education/Coaching-Home.aspx

    Offensive style
    All teams will be encouraged to display an offensive style of play based on keeping possession and quick
    movement of the ball.

    Quick transitions and finishing
    Speed of play, avoiding over-dribbling, looking for an organized and quick movement of the ball and finishing
    will be encouraged in all age groups.

    Position specific

    A team must be organized defensively, keeping their specific positions in the formation. However, players
    will look for spaces and movements to support forward when attacking by moving away from their original positions

    4-3-3 formation

    Teams will use the 4-3-3 formation, either in its 4-2-3-1 or 4-1-2-3 variations. Teams in the advanced
    stage (U15 onwards) can also use a 4-4-2 formation with a diamond in the middle. This system
    (4-4-2 diamond) provides more space in the wide areas of the field for the outside backs to move forward
    and join the attack.

    Back 4

    All formations used by the teams in 11-a-side games must keep a back 4 line. The back 4 provides consistency
    in defense and allows space for the outside backs to move forward when attacking.

    Teams playing 9v9 soccer are strongly encouraged to use the 3-2-3 formation. This formation helps players
    express the principles of play specified in this document. This system allows for better adaptation to a 4-3-3 formation as the players progress to 11v11.

    Passing & receiving:
    Passing the ball on the ground with pace from different distances and receiving the ball while keeping it
    moving will be encouraged in all age groups.


    Players must develop the ability to shoot from different distances. All players will be encouraged to shoot
    from any distance during the game.

    Ball control and turning
    Players will be encouraged to keep close control of the ball and use different turning techniques to move
    away from the defender

    Playing out from the back
    All teams must feel comfortable playing the ball from the back through the midfield and from there to the
    final quarter of the field.

    Possession & transition

    All teams must try to keep possession of the ball playing a one-two touch game. Players will be encouraged
    to support and move, thus creating passing options. Once the possession game is consolidated the
    team must learn how to transfer the ball in the most efficient way from one area of the field to another.

    Offense-defense quick transition & vice versa
    When possession is lost, players must react quickly and apply pressure to regain the ball. Once possession is regained, players will be positioned immediately to counter-attack.

    Principles of Play

    1. Possession games are means to improve both the technique and tactical
    understanding of the players.
    2. Opposition will be encouraged to increase the competitiveness of the players.
    3. High-intensity games based on speed and agility. Short but intense working-periods.

    1. 1, 2 or 3 touch maximum: Minimizing the number of touches improves
    the speed of play.

    2. Keep the game simple: Do not force situations, over-dribble or be careless with the ball.

    3. Keep the ball on the ground: A ball on the ground is easier to control
    and can be moved more efficiently by the team.

    4. Accuracy and quality of the pass: Passing must be firm and accurate,
    with the proper weight.

    5. First touch: Make a clean, controlled first touch without stopping the ball.
    Take the touch away from pressure and into free space.

    6. Perception and awareness: All players with or without the ball should constantly
    scan the field.

    7. 1v1 situations: Encourage determination to regain control of the ball in defense and
    keep it simple in attack by taking a touch to the side, at speed, to beat the defender.

    8. Individual transition: Players must react quickly when possession change
    from offense to defense and vice-versa.

    9. Shooting: Always keep an eye on the goal. All players are encouraged to shoot.

    10. Take risks: Soccer is an error prone sport and mistakes are part of the game
    and learning process. Players are encouraged to take risks in training session
  2. tne

    tne Now tagging people with spaces in their name
    TMB OG

    awesome stuff, will be difficult to implement though
  3. lunchbox

    lunchbox ...
    Texas LonghornsHouston AstrosHouston RocketsHouston TexansManchester UnitedAustin FC

    really like the back four rule. enough of the sweeper shit.
  4. BearlyHere

    BearlyHere Is this thing on?
    Baylor BearsHouston AstrosHouston Oilers

    this..want more of this
  5. snowfx2

    snowfx2 Well-Known Member
    Los Angeles KingsLos Angeles LakersUCLA BruinsLos Angeles GalaxyLos Angeles Rams

    Yep, I look back at my club days and just :facepalm: at the fact we used a sweeper. Then had the "stopper" in front of the sweeper and then two box-to-box CM's.

    When us that would go and also play h.s. together, our h.s. coach implemented a flat four with a diamond midfield. Took awhile to get used to after years of the other formations, but much more fun and attacking to play in, and eventually we started playing it our final year of club ball.

    The other thing is to encourage creativity. "Play simple" or "Keep it simple" is something I heard far too often in my youth days.
  6. MA

    MA Surprisingly normal looking
    Donor TMB OG
    Alabama Crimson TideSan Antonio SpursWashington CapitalsManchester UnitedAtlanta United

    Is there a commonly accepted area for shooting from "any" distance?
  7. lunchbox

    lunchbox ...
    Texas LonghornsHouston AstrosHouston RocketsHouston TexansManchester UnitedAustin FC

    thats difficult imo, to not say keep it simple. you should keep it simple and quick up until perhaps the last third of the pitch, where you need to be able to create space by beating your man or trying a more difficult pass. too many times kids will just drible in the middle of the field trying to beat multiple defenders instead of hitting the open man out wide or switching the field.
  8. snowfx2

    snowfx2 Well-Known Member
    Los Angeles KingsLos Angeles LakersUCLA BruinsLos Angeles GalaxyLos Angeles Rams

    Yeah there's the Xavi/Zidane like keep it simple, but then create as you get into the final 1/3, something that was discouraged in my days. Sure you want to get a shot, but turnovers in the final 1/3 aren't the end of the world.

    But this is definitely changing

    Joe Gyau dribble

    Depending on the angle, I'd say within 30 yards or so.