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24226 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Mar 17, 2009 1:21 AM by infopedal
Trish18 Legend 457 posts since
Jun 5, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

Aug 1, 2007 11:36 AM

Man on man vs. zone defense?

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.

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  • Tfree Amateur 20 posts since
    Jun 12, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Aug 9, 2007 8:30 PM (in response to Trish18)
    Re: Man on man vs. zone defense?


    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.












  • soccerDee Rookie 1 posts since
    Jun 20, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Jun 20, 2008 1:51 PM (in response to Trish18)
    Re: Man on man vs. zone defense?

    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.

  • Saint__12 Rookie 1 posts since
    May 30, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Jul 5, 2008 9:34 AM (in response to soccerDee)
    Re: Man on man vs. zone defense?

    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

  • saraallent Legend 1,063 posts since
    Oct 2, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jul 22, 2008 7:37 AM (in response to Saint__12)
    Re: Man on man vs. zone defense?

    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.

  • fast danny Rookie 2 posts since
    Dec 2, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Dec 3, 2008 6:13 AM (in response to saraallent)
    Re: Man on man vs. zone defense?

    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.

  • skaog Rookie 2 posts since
    Nov 25, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Jan 27, 2009 7:51 PM (in response to Trish18)
    Re: Man on man vs. zone defense?

    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.

  • infopedal Rookie 1 posts since
    Mar 17, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Mar 17, 2009 1:21 AM (in response to skaog)
    Re: Man on man vs. zone defense?

    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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