“Strong up the middle”… futsal’s influence on local USDA’s

Image result for baseball and soccer ball

In baseball there is an old adage about being strong up the middle. The idea being that a team strong at catcher, shortstop, second and center stands more of a chance of winning championships. Their placement in the middle of the field allows them to be involved in more plays, so they impact games on a deeper level. In the youth 9v9 soccer game these crucial middle positions are the 3, 6, 10 and 9. They often receive more touches and influence games to a greater degree due to their central positioning. Of these four positions it is the 6 and 10 midfield spots that demand the most decision making and field awareness. They are the hub of an ever spinning wheel.

Three of the more established and respected Bay Area USDA programs, San Jose Earthquakes, De Anza Force and Ballistic United, all have starters at the 6 and 10 positions with extensive futsal backgrounds at their 04, 05 and 06 age groups. Coincidence? Small sample size? Perhaps, but what can’t be denied is the exceptional decision making skills and creativity these players show on a weekly basis. And as organized futsal grows, I suspect the days of the fast, athletic, yet technically limited 3 and 9, will be numbered. In the future the spine of every high level soccer team will likely be dominated by futsal trained players.

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