Encourages defenders to keep attackers out wide instead of going for a tackle, missing and letting them penetrate.

Set Up

  • Mark off a field that is approximately 30 yards long by 25 yards wide.
  • Divide team into two lines – defenders stand on the end line opposite the goal.
  • Attackers stand on the sidelines.
Into The Wide Open Soccer Defense Drill
Defender tries to force an attacker wide.


  1. Defender plays a ball out wide and attacker chases it down.
  2. Defender then closes out the attacker and tries to keep them away from the goal and near the touchline.
  3. Defender gets a point for his or her team if they can stop the attacker from getting a shot away.
  4. Attacker gets a point if they do get a shot away.

Coaching Tips

  • Concept to stress to the defenders: “close down, slow down” – i.e. get to the man fast but don’t dive in at the ball.