What's the Best Way to Scout a Soccer Opponent?

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By Patrick Baker
Head coach, Georgia Bulldogs women's soccer team

We break down film on all of our opponents to find tendencies that will help us defend certain players. We find what individuals' traits and tendencies are; what they like to do with the ball in certain parts of the field; what their favorite moves are; and what their dominant legs are. Once we establish tendencies, we then decide how we want to defend each player. We played a team last season that arguably had one of the best three-forward combinations in the country; and all three forwards brought something different to the table. Using one forward as an example, we figured out that she is predominately right-footed, so we constantly channeled her to the left side. We saw that even when she went left, she continued to show the ball on her right foot, which made it easier for us to tackle and make a toe poke. Every player has certain tendencies; watching film will help you pick those up, making your job on the field a lot easier.

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