3-3 “Deep Zone” Ride
Use this shifting Zone Ride with your youth and high school teams to put more pressure on the Clearing Defense. Force long, cross-field passes, create more Turn Overs, and score more goals when you get the ball back!
The "Ride" or "Riding" is the First Line of Defense when the other team has the ball. Creating Turnovers in your offensive end of the field often leads to exciting scoring opportunities from unsettled situations and 4-on-3 Fast Breaks. Midfield and Attack work together to cover easy open passes and put 1-on-1 Pressure on the ball. This is a great way to get the ball back, especially from Defenders and Goalies who aren't used to handling it very often.
We will admit this Zone Ride gave us lots of trouble at the college and high school level when we first saw it almost 10 years ago. It can frustrate most common Clears, and clogs up the middle of the field, making it seem like there is a Riding Attackman or Midfielder everywhere! It's also great for putting your Midfielders in good position to drop back into 6-on-6 Defense. Don't' give the other team easy Numbers-Advantage Situations going to your own goal!
Although it seems complex, it's actually very simple, which is probably part of the reason it's so effective and so common. Practice this Ride for 15-20 minutes at just two or three practices, and it should be ready to go for Game Time!
HERE'S THE PLAY:
Figure 1.) It's called a "3-3 Deep Zone" for a pretty simple reason. Three (3) Riding Red Attackers will drop deep across the field in front of the Midfield Line. The three (3) Red Midfielders drop back behind the Midfield Line. No matter what formation or play the Clearing Team (Blue) uses, you should have a Red Attackman or Midfielder covering that Zone.