The Skills You Need to be a Top Soccer Player


Combination play, the key to success on an international level

In the World Cup four years ago, the U.S. Women’s National Team largely relied on pushing the ball forward and hoping for the best. In the build up to the 2015 World Cup, I’ve noticed their play has shifted to combination play with short, quick passes. Soccer, the sport in general, has changed over the last four years, and the U.S. team is also adapting to keep their status as an international soccer power.

The U.S. Team's 2015 World Cup approach

This U.S. team is now playing a much more refined version of soccer, and they must execute this to accomplish their dream of winning the World Cup. Key areas the team should focus on are ball control, pushing forward from wide with overlapping play and quality anticipation featuring timed runs from strikers like Alex Morgan.

Building off the timed runs, the U.S. strikers must be clinical in front of the goal. At the top levels, these opportunities will occur so rarely that Alex and the team must take full advantage of every opportunity they receive. This will come down to agility, technique and touch to beat defenders and shoot on goal with accuracy.

Soccer Skills - Agility and Combo PlayTaking it to the youth field

The primary focus of many soccer coaches has transitioned from “endurance, endurance, endurance” to a demand for explosive play with change of pace and change of direction.

With this in mind, players should focus on building quick feet--by going through ladder drills, working on first step quickness with hurdle drills, and laying down cones to mark off change of direction drills.

Mastering these skills is crucial to becoming a top soccer player in the game today.