U13 CCSL Pre tournament notes


Here are some notes pre-tournament. Due to our success in previous years, we have been moved up a bracket and are now the lowest ranked team in the bracket. This, however, does not mean that we can not pull off a few surprises. With two teams qualifying from each group, my hope is that we can get to the semi’s by coming in the top two.

Print these notes or save them so you are aware of the team plan over the weekend. Small details can make all the difference.


As per the Everton America tournament expectations, eat, sleep, drink and relax sensibly. Spend leisure time positively. Do not swim between games; stay out of the sun between games. Eat the right foods and re­hydrate, stay away from junk food and soda.

With a small squad ( 3 subs) and many lingering injuries, it is vital that you are at your best when playing. We can not afford to have you out of the tournament. Every player is needed.  Load up on carbs today. Stop drinking soda / coffee now until the end of the tournament. Be aware of sugars in gatorade…… 3 full waters to every gatorade please. Chocolate milk is good for after games.


We may use different styles of play throughout the weekend. These include:

  • High Pressing & Fast tempo ( as used against corpus Christi 2nd half )
  • Counter attack – Drawing players in before going more direct
  • Slow tempo and breaking up oppositions rhythm
  • Patient build up to get the attacking opportunities

Please bear in mind that with games being 30 minute halves, there will be a tendency for teams to play faster. Our style of play may change throughout the game.


We will start with the 4-2-3-1 and make variations as and when needed. We are now used to changing the CDM to attacking midfield to give more attacking options. We should be aware of each others strengths and weaknesses. Play to these. Be aware if we play a lob sided formation. Recognize oppositions weaknesses and play to them.


Set pieces contribute a large number of goals towards an organized attacking team. They get their success preying on unorganized teams and unconfident goalkeepers.

We have worked hard lately on runs and positioning from corners and free kicks.

  • Distract the GK. ( normally fwd )
  • One arm up = Near post ( Has to still clear the front post )
  • Two arms up = Far post. The trigger point for this that the distracting player has ensured that the GK is more on their front post
  • Short corner is done quickly and does not need a signal.

Personnel. Ollie, Charlie & Patrick are set piece takers in attacking half. Eli or attacking midfield ready for short corners. Short corners are good early on in the game, but must be done quickly.

All kicks preferably swung in. This means players may need to switch position to accommodate.

Defending – Billy is aware of numbers in the wall and / or if we actually need one. A wall is there to make play predictable. If we know what will happen anyway, we are better off having players marking rather than in a wall. Ensure no defenders in the wall. If you are spare, think about doubling up on their target player. Billy will also provide a line to hold. This is the area he feels he can come up to based on his starting position.

Turn your body to face out. You must be first to the ball if it is in your vicinity. NO EXCUSES!

Forwards stand in the way of kicks in oppositions half.

Second balls are vital…… in both boxes. Lets not concede a goal from a set piece.


We have done a lot this year on the benefits of opening up your body before receiving so that you have multiple options to play. Look to get it out of the crowded space. You may have to check in to the ball, checking your shoulders prior to receiving.

Back foot control is important. It allows you to open up and deliver a pass in the direction we are going.


Lastly, be aware of the quality you provide. A mistake up front can be just as costly as a mistake at the back. A lack of end product when we are attacking not only scuppers our chances of scoring, it gives the ball to the opposition whilst we are in transition. Continued lack of quality results in players not making the correct runs as they do not believe the ball will come to them.


  • Crosses not going beyond the near post
  • Not getting in an early cross – getting caught by the oppostion
  • Being offside
  • Providing straight balls for straight runs
  • Not pulling the ball back when doing the “Drive on – Pull back”
  • Not affecting the opposition when defending from the front
  • Allowing the opposition to play the ball down the line.


In no particular order

  • No square balls
  • 5 “S’s” of defending
  • 2nd defender is spitting distance away
  • Central defenders should not have to get dragged out beyond the width of the penalty box
  • Foul throws are unexceptable……… don’t throw to opposition. Go down line if no option
  • Recognize trigger points in the game so you can get a head start.
  • Forward runs. Front = Distraction, Middle = Hold, Far = curved run
  • Shots / Crosses should not go off on the near post
  • Play positive from kick off. i.e…… FORWARD!!!
  • Forwards can interchange position…. Forward can go far left or right to collect a ball  if the player he is taking goes into his position. With this in mind we can play the ball there even if you feel there is no one open.
  • Don’t let throws go over your head
  • It is easier to run forward than backwards – This should reflect in your starting position
  • Communication for quick play ( Combinations ) is different than regular passes
  • 2-0 is the most dangerous lead in soccer
  • The ability to close out a game with 2 minutes to go. DON’T LET THEM PLAY!
  • Get on the side of the ref with hand shakes if you foul
  • We like to defend the side of the coach first.

Lastly, enjoy your time and each other. The team will be split up next year with the calendar age groups. Let’s make some great memories.


Goalkeeper HQ

Follow us on Twitter

Type a keyword for links to our Goalkeeping articles

Sign up for our weekly Goalkeeping newsletter