Enerex Team Training #4 - Ricky King

In preparation for your team's return to the pitch, our MLS Academy coaches are teaming up with Enerex to provide training drills to learn during your time at home.
Today we hear from MLS Academy U-19 head coach Ricky King.
Moment/Phase: Offensive Organization - Create and Finish

Playing through and over lines of pressure centrally


Team Training Ideas presented by Enerex: Offensive Organization -

Balls, bibs, cones (Full-sized goal for progression).


Area size varied based on quality and age of the players. 2 boxes, 3 players on the outside of the box where the ball is and 2 defenders in the box. In the opposite box to the ball you have 1 attacker and 1 defender inside the box and 1 target player on the outside of the box. (see diagram).


The objective of the game is to get the ball into the target player to score a point. You can go over the lines of pressure, but the ball must pass through the central and not around the cones on the central line and not around the cones on the central line. If the defending team win the ball, then the attacker in the middle and 2 extra players can enter the area to try and immediately win the ball back. If they do, then they look to find one of the 2 players left on the outside and then play continues. If the defenders manage to connect 5 passes, then they score a point. Game continues for a set number of times.


  • Change the # of passes the defending team need to score (less = increasing difficulty and urgency of transition, more = regression)
  • Allowing the end players to step into the are with the ball (IDP work with CB’s stepping in to unbalance opposition)
  • Target players only being allowed 1 touch on 1st pass (working on 3rd man running to support target players)

() - information in brackets shows the change in learning objectives.

Objectives/Tactical Expectations:


  1. Awareness of the player in possession - When, How and Why to penetrate the opposition
  2. Change in tempo of ball movement to either create or exploit gaps in the opposition
  3. Positioning of players to create horizontal and vertical gaps in the opposition (Where, When and Why)

Secondary - Defending Transition Mentality once the ball turns over