Popular Defense Tactics You Should

Defense is all about stopping your opponents from scoring. If you let your opponents score then you will usually hear how poor you are in defense (even if you run out of breath, training to stop your opponent from scoring).

But as you will notice, on the soccer field you need also to communicate with your teammates telling them how to cover up free areas and how to act in defense.

In this part we will take a look at some of the most common tactics used in soccer defense.

Using Zonal Marking in Your Defense

Zonal defense is pretty easy to understand. Every midfielder and defender is given a particular zone on the field to cover. It is crucial that each one of your teammates fulfills their duties with 100 % concentration.

Your main duty when playing in a zonal marking formation is to cover your area. But, if you see that one of your teammates needs assistance you should of course try to help him/her even if it means leaving your zone.

Your opponents will be facing two lines with four players each that will cover the entirety of half of the soccer field. The defensive line need to communicate and coordinate the movement of your other teammates.

As I mentioned before, zonal defending is pretty simple but you and your teammates need to really work and communicate to accomplish this tactic successfully. If any of you fails to cover his/her area of the field the opponents will have a free road to the goal.

Man to Man Marking

This tactic is often associated with continental and especially Italian way of playing soccer.

Man to man marking simply means that all your teammates are responsible for keeping an eye on a particular opponent. This tactic is most effective alongside a sweeper who has a free role on the field.

As a sweeper you will be able to support any teammate that needs assistance with his/her opponent. You will also reduce the potency of through pass and long balls played over the top of your defense.

However, to accomplish this tactic successfully you and your teammates will need to have great discipline in the role as marker. Your team also need to pay attention to which of your opponents are fast and choose a fast running teammate to mark him or her.