Enerex - U-19 defending/attacking - Jaden Manetta

Team training ideas presented by Enerex: Progressing through FB

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 – Build up

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Topic: Progressing the ball through the FB (Functional Practice) – 1-4-2-3-1 vs 1-4-4-2 (Diamond) 

Player Numbers: 22 for full practice, progression is to 11 vs 11 (3 players would be used as servers/targets in this activity) 

Players are positioned functionally where they would play with our given structure (Blue Team), the Red Team are the opposition and set up in a 1-4-4-2 diamond.  


Balls, Bib’s, Cones, 3 counter goals and a full sized field. 


Full sized field. 10 yard end zone which is 15 meters over the half way line. The field is cut off 10/15 yards off the weak side. Target zone with weak side winger in it, allows for us to score by switching play if needed. 3 counter goals placed 8 yards behind the 18 yard box for the opposition to counter into. 


Play starts with the weak side FB dribbling towards the opposition weak side full back who is not involved in the activity. They then turn and play to the CB who then pass the ball to the FB. The pass from the CB to the FB is the trigger to start the activity. The blue team is then trying to score by getting a runner and receiving the ball in the end zone or hitting the weak side end zone with the target player in it. The opposition score by winning the ball and scoring in the counter goals. Once the ball leaves the field of play the players return to their starting positions and the activity restarts in the same way. GK’s can be incorporating as either servers or neutral players to help recycle the ball in possession. 


  • Variation comes from the management of the opposition (see problems). 
  • Possible adjustment of field size. 
  • Possible adjustment of starting positions of the opposition to change the type of pressure on the FB.
  • Removal of counter goals and allow the opposition when they win it to counter on the big goal. 

Objectives/Tactical Expectations: 

To solve the problems (See below) the opposition could give us in this phase of the game

  1. Problem (1) Left side of the diamond engages the FB
    1. What - Left sided diamond forces the play inside
    2. What if? - The LCM can’t cover the ground so forces outside 
  2. Problem (2) Near side CF presses the FB 
    • What - the CF forces the ball down the line and into pressure 
    • What if? - The CF can’t across in time 

For more Team Training Ideas presented by Enerex, visit whitecapsfc.com/trainingideas.