OUR GAME MODEL – INTRODUCTION
Rush Soccer’s game model is a logical reflection of the foundational concepts expressed in The Heart Of The Rush. We break it down in the following pages, using the definition of our Style Of Play as the starting point.
"Donde las huellas de la pasión y el propósito se unen, comienza el camino hacia la victoria" - Rush Soccer
EL ESTILO DE JUEGO DE RUSH
El estilo de Juego de Rush es un reflejo de nuestra cultura y valores fundamentales, y una tradición sostenida durante casi 25 años. Queremos atacar, ser el protagonista. Somos apasionados, tenaces, adaptables a diferentes circunstancias y decididos en nuestro juego. Como somos como club.
El estilo de Juego de Rush se basa en el movimiento y la actividad tanto del jugador como del balón. Orientado a la posesión no describe completamente cómo jugamos; hace orientado al ataque. Ya sea en posesión o en defensa, estamos atacando. Cuando tenemos el balón atacamos la portería, cuando ellos tienen el balón atacamos el balón, siempre estamos atacando. Los jugadores de Rush juegan con libertad pero comprenden la importancia de la responsabilidad y el equilibrio entre los dos. Los equipos urgentes son flexibles y se adaptan a diversas circunstancias. El estilo de Juego de Rush representa tanto la pasión como el propósito.
Nuestro estilo de juego es apoyado por estos cuatro pilares:
THE RUSH GAME MODEL BY GAME PHASE
Following a standard approach, we present the features of our game model by phase of the game: Attacking, Defending, Transitioning from Attack To Defense, or Transitioning from Defense To Attack.
Rush Soccer uses the 1-3-5-2 as its preferred formation and starting point to implement its style of play. However, the Rush Way understands soccer is dynamic with constant movement. A formation represents simply a starting point related to a certain moment of the game.
Rush Soccer encourages coaches to vary approaches depending on a deep understanding of their players’ strengths and weaknesses as well as the rival’s. What Rush Soccer sustains at all times is its style of play.
Rush teams are proficient in re-adapting this base formation within the game onto 1-5-3-2 and 1-4-3-1-2 depending on the needs and situations encountered.
As we want our players to be adaptable, experiencing these alternatives and other popular base schemes like 1-4-3-3 and 1-4-2-3-1 is important for their development, therefore encouraged.
Our player profiles are based on a standard 1-3-5-2 formation as shown above and offer an example of the player’s characteristics per position. It’s important to remark, once again, that this is an example, as talent might express in different ways.
Disciplined, intelligent, fast, patient, tenacious
Good in the air, ball winners, play simple out of the back
Back line alternate between sweeper and marking backs, zone defense: can pass players vertically and horizontally, push into midfield to provide numbers in attack (i.e. overlap and through the middle)
Condense field of play, step up to mark free player, front and back to “lock them in” before transition, stay flat 18-40 yards out
(2) Outside or Flank Midfielders
Stamina, athletic, crafty, fast, hard-working
Excellent 1v1, good with both feet, provide width, provides the fourth defender
Basic runs: 1) checking on flank 2) hook 3) blind side 4) clearing lane
(1) Attacking Midfielder
Creative, confident, crafty, good ball skills
Quarterback on attack, unorthodox both on offense and defense, supports and
shows well, produces goal scoring chances
(2) Defensive Midfielders
Disciplined, powerful, ball winners
One stays while other pushes into attack, complimentary of each other, try not to crossover each other, switch the attack, play the ball wide, one drops if opponent plays a three man front line
Powerful, explosive, crafty, confident
Link together 10-30 yards to support but not crowd each other, front and back on goal-kicks and punts on offense, stay between 18-yard box, start in an offside position, “posting up”
Runs: 1) check to, then go far post with depth 2) check in and out 3) hook 4) near and far post
DEFENSIVE SET PIECES – CORNER KICKS
The Rush Way of defending a corner kick is with all 11 players of the team in zonal marking as shown below.
We start with what we call the ‘6 on the 6’ rule. We place six players on the six yards box (small box). Two on the posts. Three on the six yards line, and one on the small box sideline.
In front of the three players standing in the six yards line, we place another three at nine yards , and a ‘bullet man’ (normally the striker) in front of them between the penalty spot and the 18 yards line.
Players on the posts: One near and one far. They leave the post if the keeper comes off his/her line to make a catch or save. If this happens, both players slide in two yards. They become responsible for four yards each inside the goal.
One player placed in front of the six yard box. His/her responsibility is to imagine a mini goal six yards by six feet. Any ball in this area is “away”.
Three players across the six yard line: one on the near post, one on the far post and one in the middle. These are preferably your best players in the air.
Three players at nine yards, directly out from the three players on the six yard line.
The last player is on top of the box, between the penalty spot and the 18 yards line….the “bullet man”, tenacious and fearless.
On short kicks, the high near corner man pressures the ball along with the top of the box defender.
If you are not involved in the heading, you are shielding your man from any rebounds or challenges by “boxing out”. Stay engaged until the team is out of danger.
The coach needs to be smart at selecting players for each of these positions, in order to have your best in the air protecting the most dangerous spaces: The three positions at the 6 yards line, the three at the 9 yards line, and the small box sideline. The player on the near post, even if he/she is not so strong in the air, you would normally want a tall one (especially for an in-swinger).
DEFENSIVE GOAL KICK – LONG
The Rush Way of defending this set piece is by applying the rule of thumb “10 by the 10”, which encourages every player to be a maximum of 10 yards of the center circle, ready to challenge the ball in the air.
DEFENSIVE THROW IN
The Rush Way of defending a throw in is by applying high pressure over the opponent to try to recover the ball. Throw-ins, for us, are a pressing opportunity. This is particularly valid in the middle and attacking 3rds of the field. Apply pressure on the strong side, rapidly reducing playing spaces and denying the switch. Balance on the weak side. Use one player to mark the thrower.
DEFENSIVE PENALTY KICK
Yes, true, penalty kicks are really hard to defend and the scoring chances are high. That’s no excuse for us. The most important thing about defending a penalty kick is your mentality. The Rush player assumes that the keeper will save it or the shooter will miss it. so the player should be extremely concentrated on clearing a possible rebound.
The key for defending a penalty kick, as a defender, is to ensure you have the best positioning for the rebound. This is located where the lines of the penalty arc merge with the 18 yards box. That’s where the distance to goal is shorter. Don’t waste your time complaining to the referee but rather get here first and don’t let anybody move you.
ATTACKING SET PIECES – GENERAL COMMENTS
As soon as the referee calls a foul, start by asking yourself: Can we play fast? Don’t confuse that with purposelessly rushing a set piece please. Playing fast is about taking advantage of the rival’s possible distraction.
Though we are setting specific plays to generate positive attacks or goal scoring opportunities, the creative aspect will always remain important.
Consider the following:
ATTACKING CORNER KICKS
Option 1 – ‘6 In The 6’ Setup: A and B sandwich the GK. Each zip apart as F serves the ball, In-swinger when possible. Player C on middle 6 goes to GK and shadows. E holds on the top of the box. Players D hunt the ball. Key Points: 2V1 in back. Hunters lose mark, attack the ball. End with 6 in the 6. E keep the ball alive!
Option 2 – Short 1-2 Setup: Short corner using the same setup as #1. A and B zip early and A initiates run and this time extends it to play 1-2 with F.
Key Points: A’s run needs to come just off of line to provide an easy angle for F who plays and breaks off to receive it back, then hits a bending ball.
ATTACKING GOAL KICK – PLAYING LONG
If we play long, we follow the ‘10 by the 10’ rule, with all of our players a maximum of 10 yards from the center circle.
ATTACKING GOAL KICK – PLAYING SHORT
There’s not a unique way to play the ball out of the back, it all depends on our players and the rivals’ disposition and type of pressing.
We adopt an initial shape as shown on the left, but ultimately we want to pass the ball (safely!) to find a free man and move the ball forward, simple as that. How to create that free man is a different story. Mobility and a good understanding and recognition of numerical concepts is key (combining in threes, rotating, checking in and out, etc).
What we advise our goalkeepers is to use the center backs as the first option. If you can play safely with them and they’re open, do so. If they’re not, check on the holding midfields. If they’re covered as well, check on the outside/wing backs. Ultimately, if none of these are a safe option, play longer with the forwards. Read the game, be smart, that’s what matters the most.
ATTACKING DIRECT FREE KICK
We keep it simple! If a shot is on, that is the first option.
Two players must be prepared to flash in front of the keeper, inside of the wall, to screen or off-balance the keeper. The starting position may vary.
Players not involved with the kick or screening must get to goal and be hunters.
If the free kick is from a wide position, top of the box remains a critical area. “keep it alive!”
Plus one (minimum) in behind with thought to potential rebounds that may come off of the wall. Be mindful of the wall who becomes attackers if they block it. Position players accordingly.
THE SECOND SERVICE: As we said before, Rush Teams must know how to be dangerous in the second service and search for a ball behind the opponent’s back line, which normally steps up right after the clearance, to a teammate running in from a few yards back counter stepping them. Forwards need to be smart as well and ready to attack the box again avoiding the offside.
ATTACKING INDIRECT FREE KICK
As with direct kicks, if a shot is on, that is the first option.
If a shot is not on because the wall is properly set, we must move the ball. We do this with a three man set up, touch, stop, strike. Moving the ball laterally (and perhaps slightly back) displaces the wall and provides a larger portion of the goal to shoot at.
Free kicks from wide (attacking 1/3), like corners, should be hit as in-swingers. Ball should be struck so that if nobody touched it, it would score (typically at the far post, but near can work as well on the odd time.
Players not involved in the taking of the kick must make sure they cover the top of the box as well as the near post area (get across the GK’s face), the keeper himself/herself and also the back post area.
Additional Notes: Direct or Indirect kicks from the defensive or middle thirds are too frequently wasted with playing long balls to outnumbered forwards. Our first option is to simply put it down, play it short, and let’s go!
ATTACKING PENALTY KICK
Although penalty kicks usually come down to the individual penalty kick taker converting, there are details that can make a difference.
The Kicker: Confidence is critical. The kicker must know he/she is going to score. No second guessing. There are plenty of stories of professional coaches that when it came down to penalty shootouts, they didn’t pick the kickers based on skill but based on confidence.
Many say that at that very moment, they’d pick those who look at them in the eye to affirm they’ll shoot.
The Rest Of The Team: Of course we trust the kicker will score. However, we play it like we know he/she is not, focusing on being first to the rebound. Just like in a defensive penalty kick, we want to be in the best position to go for it, that is where the two points where the penalty arc merges with the penalty box line.
Same rules apply in the back. Stay plus one and focused. Remember that once the ball is hit, the game is live.
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