Sounder strategy: Meet the Lous press

Sounder technique: Meet the Lous press

St. Louis Metropolis SC defied low expectations to high the Supporters Defend standings, two factors forward of Seattle Sounders. Seattle discovered the braveness to take three factors in Los Angeles final week and now face a facet unbeaten away from house.

First impressions of St. Louis Metropolis are in: They’ve an brisk urgent fashion that completed off 5 of their first six opponents with a barrage of targets. Is there one thing distinctive concerning the St. Louis press, or is the Lou press the identical as any outdated press? Will the Sounders underestimate their up-and-coming opponent like 5 MLS groups earlier than them have, or will Seattle’s veteran data guarantee they will not be fooled once more?

Every day, a naked three factors beat a pleasant draw, and the Sounders held simply sufficient to win in Los Angeles. Compelled into the function of left-back, Alex Roldan struggled to search out the precise distance and timing in defence. Midfielder Riqui Puig stored transferring into the center, pulling the Sounders’ midfield in in direction of him and opening up passes to the precise wing. Typically sucked in inside, Alex did not have time to get well and switch off crosses, whereas Lo Ch was late to clip passing lanes.

Puig’s dribbling prompts Lodeiro to intervene, opening a quick lane between Ch and Alex Roldn.

However Seattle’s irresistible attacking combo on their left labored magic once more this week. Good issues occur when Nicols Lodeiro will get the ball out effectively behind Lo Ch. When groups make room on the again with out blocking Nico’s vertical passing alternatives down the touchline, they may remorse it. I assume St. Louis Metropolis has taken notice and won’t make related errors.

Galaxy winger Memo Rodrguez was changed by ahead Preston Judd at half-time. Whereas loads was completed on the LA present by including a second ahead and enjoying with a again three, remember the fact that the LA Galaxy often begins their assaults with a again three anyway. The primary half towards Seattle was no completely different as full-back Raheem Edwards pushed into midfield on possession:

LA Galaxy’s possession kind within the first half.

As coach Brian Schmetzer identified in coaching this week, the Galaxys’ second-half dominance was possible as a lot depending on their willpower and power because it was on a tactical swap. Greg Vanney’s message to his group at half time was to make use of extra numbers up entrance and put extra strain on the Sounders.

Changing a extra defensive winger in Rodrguez with Judd was a part of that technique. The second half was to dedicate full-backs Edwards and Tyler Boyd to assault earlier and place them greater and wider on the sphere, stretching Seattle’s backline and creating extra room for Puig down the center. Edwards’ extra aggressive positioning was very noticeable between halves. This is LA within the first half:

LA Galaxy’s ahead line within the first half, with full-back Raheem Edwards adopting a extra defensive stance on the left.

Evaluate that to the Galaxy’s line of assault within the second half:

LA Galaxy’s ahead line within the second half, with two full-backs Edwards and Boyd committing to offer assault width.

As LA devoted extra numbers extensive and ahead, transition alternatives would definitely current themselves for the Sounders. Ch’s deduction for Ruidaz made it more durable to play straight with Jordan Morris, however the Sounders nonetheless created probabilities with trailing runners.

When Seattle tried to gradual the sport by sitting on the ball, careless passes nearly doomed them. Nevertheless, the addition of Nouhou, which nearly instantly restored Alex Roldan to his most popular facet, gave the Sounders some respiratory area. That relative calm lasted into stoppage time when LA locked Seattle of their defensive third and threw crosses at them. Nonetheless, Seattle stood their floor as a top-flight opponent desperately pushed for an equalizer.

The league newcomers like to use extra defensive strain this season than some other group in MLS. They lead the league in tried and profitable challenges, urgent within the defensive and offensive halves. St. Louis relinquishes possession and is way happier turning their opponent and attacking in transition.

The person who does all the things for St. Louis is Eduard Lwen, their central midfielder, who instructions groups 4-4-2. On the high, Joo Klauss and Nicholas Gioacchini occupy and harass opposing centre-backs whereas concurrently practising a mysterious hypnosis that lulls their opponents into blind again passes.

St. Louis has a powerful counter-press. As quickly because the ball spins, their forwards swarm the passer, whereas their midfield anticipates the following transfer, blocking passing lanes and smashing into the opponent’s passing alternatives:

St. Louis counterattacks after a turnover, blocking move alternatives and anticipating the ahead move.

They create some width by overlapping each full-backs, however their most important objective is to assault shortly with vertical passes to their technically proficient strikers who’re able to scoring targets.

So did St. Louis introduce a brand new kind of attacking fashion to North American soccer? I do not suppose so, other than the truth that MLS groups do not often expend that a lot power within the first two months of the season. Whether or not or not they’ll proceed their highly effective fashion in August stays to be seen. However proper now, St. Louis is a really troublesome opponent for any group seeking to win with possession.

countless power

A giant distinction between St. Louis’ 4-0 win over Actual Salt Lake and their slim 1-0 loss to Minnesota United final week was Minnesota’s willingness to match their opponent’s power degree. The sport was performed at a frenetic tempo, even when Minnesota had some possession within the second half. The Loons’ vertical one-touch passes did not give St. Louis time to press traps or win the ball of their offensive third. St. Louis discovered it simpler to regulate groups like RSL who needed to gradual the sport all the way down to a cushty tempo. Even when the Sounders wish to management possession at house, their passing tempo must be quick.

An opportunity to shine in central midfield

With information from coaching that Joo Paulo’s availability is unsure attributable to hamstring strains, it is possible that certainly one of Seattle’s younger midfielders will begin towards the high-pressing St. Louis. Josh Atencio, or maybe Obed Vargas, could face a high-intensity take a look at towards a St. Louis midfield that offers their opponent little or no time on the ball. So as a substitute of mourning the lack of Sounders’ quietest possession participant, let’s examine the brilliant facet and name it a possibility for a younger Sounder to make his mark.

Swap issues up

A confirmed method to escape from a decent midfield press is to make use of lengthy switches to bypass the protection. Actual Salt Lake used this technique to stretch St. Louis by way of Justen Glad’s passing. This can be a good alternative for Jackson Ragen to point out off his passing expertise and provides his midfield a break.

RSL centre-back Justen Glad adjustments play, leading to a half-chance within the penalty space.

With a seat atop the Western Convention on the road, Saturday’s recreation will seize headlines throughout the league. All of the noise apart, St. Louis Metropolis is a extremely entertaining group with a frenetic fashion that defies the everyday tempo of April’s MLS video games. The Sounders have an opportunity to point out St. Louis Metropolis that away video games in MLS aren’t fairly as simple as their first three video games would counsel.

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