by Erik Imler
I am currently working on a project in which I was connecting with teammates of mine from way back in the day. The conversations with Chris Henderson (current Sporting Director with 2016 MLS Champion Seattle Sounders) and Troy Dayak (Executive Coaching Director with West Coast Soccer Club) were the inspirations for this post.
Much dialogue is devoted to tactics and style of play – passing the ball out of the back in build up, changing the point of attack through midfield, wide play in the attack. Or the effectiveness of early crosses, shooting from distance, third man running.
But at the end of the day, a game is typically won or lost by the team who wins more of their 1v1 battles over the course of the 90 minutes.
“The most Neanderthal demi-glace of it all is the one-versus-one battle. You have to win the mono y mono match-up.” – Troy Dayak
Both Chris Henderson and Troy Dayak look back with fond memories of their playing days and identify these duels as having a profound effect on their development. For Chris, it was going 1v1 in tight spaces trying to score on un-contested small goals.
As for Troy, he enjoyed duels covering bigger distances. When I say bigger, I’m referring to full field 1v1 competitions – then having to beat a GK at either end.
As the stories continued, not just any GK’s at either end… imagine having to beat your defender, cover over 100 yards on a sprint with the ball then face either Kasey Keller (former Leicester City, Rayo Vallecano, Tottenham, Borussia Monchengladbach, Fulham, Seattle Sounders) at one end or Brad Friedel (former Galatasaray, Columbus Crew, Liverpool, Blackburn, Aston Villa, Tottenham) at the other.
All in a day’s work, I suppose.
- Challenging Players to Take Individual Responsibility for the Ball - December 19, 2017
- Pitches - November 10, 2017
- Pet Peeve: No Weak Foot - November 10, 2017
- Heading Against the Wall - June 9, 2017
- Acorn League - May 23, 2017
- Soccer Specific Partnership Announcement - April 25, 2017
- “WOW”! Moments - April 21, 2017
- Recycle - April 4, 2017
- Coaching the Grey - April 3, 2017
- Tactical Inflexibility - March 20, 2017
- How Do We Create Real Players? - January 24, 2017
- One-vs-One - January 11, 2017
- Purist or Pragmatist? - December 13, 2016
- Which Position? A or B? - December 11, 2016
- These Football Times Interview - November 30, 2016
- Referee - November 21, 2016
- Dummying Down Our Youth Footballers - November 18, 2016
- Throw-In? Kick-In? Dribble-In? - November 16, 2016
- College Soccer Podcast - November 10, 2016
- You Call Yourself a Player? - November 2, 2016