Soccer is no different to life: it evolves, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.
Coaches come into the sport and make improvements or try to implement ideas that are later copied and even made the norm. In 2022, it seems like playing a possession-based style of football is “the right way,” when in reality there isn’t one. You have to play to your strengths.
With this context, players and coaches have more information and have modified different trends and ideas within the National Women’s Soccer League regarding their defensive ideas, their build-up play and their tools to attack.
How has that changed — or not — over the last few years? Let’s take a look.
The passing range and style of goalkeepers
With this idea that possession-style football is what most coaches are trying to do, goalkeepers have been asked to play a lot more with their feet. Right now, most of the keepers have a good passing range and are fundamental to the way teams play out from the back.
As incredible as it might sound, San Diego Wave goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan had 1,045 touches this season, which ranks her 50th among all the NWSL players, but sounds more incredible if, for example, say she had more touches than OL Reign’s Rose Lavelle (1043 ), Kansas City’s Lo’eau La Bonta (1036), Reign midfielder Jess Fishlock (981) or Reign’s Quinn (906).
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