September was a busy month for the FC Wisconsin Academy teams! All age groups are well into their league play and look forward to the Kohls Fall tournament this weekend!
Game days have tested both the U7 and U8 age groups understanding of the attacking and defending concepts we have worked on this month. U7 player Alex K. and U8 player Averie G. have spent a lot of time with the ball outside of practice, and their new skill and comfort on the ball has helped in their decision making on the field. U8 player Keira K. continues to impress with her pressing mentality as she aggressively confronts players and tackles. Overall, all players are showing greater understanding and ability to make space big when in possession and to make space small when defending.
This fall, the U9 Academy players transitioned to 7v7 and a much bigger field. This has tested the group’s ability to spread out and maximize the space on the field when in possession of the ball. U9 player Kylie M. and Samantha S. have displayed fantastic understanding of how to support their teammates by getting into passing lanes when they do not have the ball even in this bigger space. All the players continue to work on their comfort in 1v1 situations to make and execute decisions on the pitch, even when under pressure. Attacking player Makenzie D.’s ball control and eagerness to run at defenders of created several scoring opportunities and goals for her team. Josey L. has shown great positioning in spaces and passing lanes where she can help her team progress the ball up the field. The U9 team, as a whole, has a fantastic work rate and a pressing mentality that puts other teams on their heels!
The U10 team, and leaders of the Academy, continue to make strides in both the defending and attacking concepts of the FC Wisconsin game model. Specifically, this group improved on transitioning to attack moments, and getting wide/deep/high when winning possession of the ball. Additionally, their transition to defense moments has improved as all players either work to apply pressure and tackle when they are near the ball, or pinch to cover and make space small. U10 players Angela B. and Mariana M. look confident in their ability to use their body to create separation from the attacker and win the ball. Goalkeeper Lexi M/ clearly found her niche in the goal as she continues to make remarkable saves each game, communicates with her teammates, and distributes from the box with conviction. Forwards Kylee B. and Peyton B. display comfort in 1v1 situations by facing forward, even when under pressure, and using their speed to get behind the defense and put the ball in the back of the net for their team.
We continue to ask every Academy age group to do difficult things in all 4 moments of the game requiring perception and decision making. Challenging the Academy athletes to play this style of soccer at this age is difficult but extremely important for long-term growth and improvement! We are excited about their motivation to improve and eagerness to have fun!