How To Watch A Soccer Game And Analyze The Match




Soccer has given me so much, so I always want to share my experiences with the hope of inspiring kids to want to play soccer and to have similar experiences. 

 I love watching soccer. MLS, EPL, La Liga, you name it, if it is on Ill watch. When I was younger, it was difficult to watch games. We had maybe one channel where games would occasionally come on. So I made sure when I saw a game was coming on, I was at home ready to tune in. I have great memories of going to extremes to watch soccer.  1998, I was in 6th grade, and the World Cup in France was going on. There was no streaming the game on your phone on your way to school, so when I got to school, I would beg my librarian to turn on the games, and he would. And I’d sit there and watch in awe of what I was witnessing.  What I’m trying to say it is essential to watch soccer, especially when it comes to developing as a player. 

 When I was younger, I would watch and subconsciously pick up on things. I would watch and try skill moves that Ronaldinho and Ronaldo ( The Real One) would do. The older I got, I continued to watch for those things but gained a new lens to view soccer from. This lens is more of a tactical one. Watching the game with the eye of, “ what is a team doing tactically, offensively and Defensively, to exploit or neutralize there opponent?” 

 Once I got to this point, it unlocked a lot for me in soccer. I learned a lot from watching soccer like this.   

 1. Watch the player on the ball.

Ok, there is more than just watching the player on the ball. Watch how they pass the ball to their teammates. I can’t stress this one enough because I see this mistake made all the time. Passing the ball to the appropriate foot is huge. If you aren’t passing the ball to the proper foot, you’ll put your teammate in poor positions. Putting your teammate in poor situations doesn’t help the team, and it doesn’t help you showing well in front of scouts. 


Pay attention to what part of the foot they trap the ball, and the directions they trap the ball too. More often than not, players are using the inside of their foot, but other scenarios might require a touch with the laces or with the outside of the foot. The direction of the trap is essential too. If the pressure is coming from the left, I don’t want to take my touch there; I want to take the touch away from pressure to avoid the chances of losing the ball. 


Also, pay attention to how they receive the ball. At my team's practice, I see too many times a hand in the air signaling they’re open when, in reality, they are not open. When I see this, I tell them to create space through movement. When you watch strikers who score goals, watch their movement into where they think is the best spot to either receive the ball or to score a goal. Watch central midfielders get on the half-turn to give themselves the option to play the ball forward or back the way it came from. 


 2. Watch the players off the ball.

 The players who don’t have the ball are just as important as the player with the ball, and more often than not, the player without the ball will decide on where the ball should be played.  Some of you might be watching right now and be like, WAIT, WHAT, REALLY? Yes, Really. It’s easier for the player without the ball to non verbally move into space where they want the ball, as oppose to the player with the ball to make non-verbal communication. 

 Remember, there are times where the player with the ball can dictate movement, but that usually happens through verbal communication. 

 If you can work on always being mindful of where you are on the field and always asking yourself, “ Am I in a good position to receive the ball, or am I in a good position to create space for a teammate?” If the answer is NO, you have to get in better spots on the field. 

 The best players in the world get in areas where it asks questions of the defense, and if they defensive doesn’t have an answer, the attacking player wins. Work at this!


3. Defensively, watch how everyone moves in sync.

The best-attacking teams in the world at times aren’t given enough credit for what they do on the defensive side of the ball. The defensive work that is on display with Barcelona, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Juventus is something to marvel at. Everyone moves in sync because they have an understanding of where they should be, as well as their teammates. They have seen many scenarios, so they can problem solve in seconds. 

 The next time you watch a soccer game, pay attention to these things. The more you pay attention, you’ll start seeing yourself understand the game better, and you’ll begin to start trying to implement the things you see in your game — all the greats in sports but significant emphasis on studying film.