How common has zone defense been in your soccer experience? Seems like all you hear on the field is finding and covering your mark rather than an area of the field. Curious as to how much is has come into play for you.
In youth soccer it was always man defense (in the back 4), but as I got older it became more zone. I think the general idea, on the coaches end at least, was that as you get better you can handle zone d and stay with runnerst that move around. My personal opinion is that professionals can handle zone, but even for them, in certain cases (ie, when they play againts extremely dangerous players) man marking is necessary and smarter to employ. I don't necessarily think that an entire back four (or three) should man mark, but when playing against a game changing midfileder or striker it's best to put your top defender on them and attempt to mark them out of the game. I've seen too many games where someone like Kaka is given too much space because of zone defense and they just tear the defense up. If a team has a defender that is good enough, they should be able to prevent this from happening.
Yeah, I think employing a zone defense might just give too much space for damage to be done. Especially when considering how far, quickly and accurately one can move the ball around the field as skill level increases. It seems like it would be so easy to continually play into the open space around the defenders in their zone.
In my experience, marking man to man gets the job done better (given that when the play is not near, your capacity to float increases)
I think it depends on who you are playing and what type of soccer you are playing (arena/indoor vs. outdoor). In indoor - zone is gonna get you scored on. It's the number 1 mistake I see when we bring new people on the team . Outdoor I think you need to know your skills - can you outrun the offense? do they have better foot work? are there any injuries on your defense? how well is your goalie doing that day? I spend most of my time on indoor fields lately (easier to field a team consistently week in and week out throughout the year) and we will switch to zone when we are down players (min players is 4, max players on the field is 6). So if it's a tough week and we only have 4 players show up to a game - time to circle the wagons and keep the other team out. Longer sends to the other end of the field and keep it out to the wings.
I can't find one reason why anyone would attempt to play man defense. It is true the #1 reason zone defending concedes a goal is a lack of ball pressure. But any good zone that remains compact and organized will get good ball pressure. Remeber there are still man to man principles in zonal defending. Good 1 v1 defending is critical just like in man. The differnce is the ball and dangerous space dictates your defensive shape, not attackers. It way more efficient, but everyone must undersatnd their responsibility and good communication is a must
I'm a fan of man to man defense, but your defenders obviously have to be aware of the other defenders and threatening play makers on the opposing team. If you have a team that plays TEAM defense you'll be set and will not need zone defense, but if you have a team that is concered about themselves and their mark not scoring well then you have a problem on your hands.
I am not against zone but I think it should be used when the time is right against certain teams but not all. It's always good to have options on defense so if a team can handle adding zone to their game then more power to them.
im also a fan of man to man defense,but your team needs to help you. and thats pretty much how it goes over here. we dont just mark our "man" ,we help others if they need it.
I agree. It's a very cool thing when a team knows each other well enough to anticipate other players actions, shift to support when necessary, and cover if a teammate makes a run.
I have played on teams that use both. If your Defense knows how to play defense correctly "Zone" is the way to go. But everyone has to be able to hold their own and know what to do. If you have weak defenders sometimes a "Zone" will make you very volunerable.
Im more of a zone defense minded player, usually i only do a man on man when i mark a fast paced foward, but then again when you do that you need good defensive partners. Just my preference i guess, but as we know situation changes and it differs from team to team.
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