Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Understanding the Offside Rule in Soccer

Andrew Khoury is a kinesiology student at Charleston Southern University in North Charleston, South Carolina. During his time in high school at Oak Hill, Andrew Khoury, a standout soccer player, was named captain of the soccer team and most valuable player for the 2012-13 season. Away from his studies, he serves the Charleston Battery soccer team in South Carolina as a stadium- and field-setup manager.

The offside rule is one of soccer’s most complex and, at times, controversial rules. An offside infraction is called when an offensive player receives a pass or otherwise handles the ball while positioned closer to the opposing goal line than the ball and the last defender, with the exception of the goalkeeper. The rule has been designed to prevent offensive players from staying near the goal and receiving long distance passes that lead to easy scoring opportunities.

There are a few aspects of the offside rule that players and spectators should be familiar with. For example, a ruling of this kind cannot be made on a throw-in pass, nor can it be made when a player is in his or her own half of the field. It should also be noted that a player isn’t called offside based purely on positioning. For instance, a player engaged in a fast break alongside teammates can run ahead of the play so long as the player is not targeted by a teammate’s pass.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

A Look at Soccer's 3-3-1-3 Formation

Andrew Khoury is working toward a degree in kinesiology at Charleston Southern University in North Charleston, South Carolina. A setup manager for the Charleston Battery, a professional soccer team in South Carolina, Andrew Khoury enjoys playing soccer and following international play.

In the sport of soccer, teams coordinate defensive assignments and offensive strategies based on a chosen formation, also known as a set, which are named after their structures. For example, the common 4-4-2 formation features four defenders, four midfielders, and two forwards, plus the goalkeeper. In some cases, teams may implement rare or unusual formations in order to take advantage of a specific skill set or to surprise opponents.

One of the more notable examples of a less common formation being put to good use occurred during the 1994-5 AFC Ajax season, over the course of which head coach Louis van Gaal’s team, also called Ajax, utilized the rarely used 3-3-1-3 set. In this formation, the goalkeeper is bolstered by three defenders, who are further supported by a trio of staggered midfield players. On the opposite end of the field, three forwards press a strong offensive attack. What makes the formation truly unique is the single player between the midfield and attack zone, who assumes a free role.

The 3-3-1-3 set not only captured the attention of the soccer world, but helped Ajax capture the Champions League title. Ajax also went undefeated in winning the Dutch league championship using the innovative tactic.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Ballon d’Or Recognizes Soccer Greats