While coaches were using the PWSI Icebreaker tournament as a tune-up to the 2011 outdoor season, they are also mindful of having to perform another adjustment.
In the fall, the current U-12 crop will switch from playing eight-on-eight to playing full, 11-on-11 soccer. It’s something Andrew Richardson, BRYC 98 Elite Arsenal coach, said he was getting his team ready to deal with, having played 11-on-11 for the past six months.
“It’s a different game,” Richardson said. “Our formation is different, so we’ve got to adjust to that. You could see there were holes here. The guys that would have been there weren’t, because they were playing 11-v-11 for the last six months.”
It’s something TSC United assistant coach Shaun Fleming is also doing to help prepare his players.
“We try to see if we can pick up some 11-v-11 games, although officially we can’t do that in Maryland with any tournaments or stuff like that,” Fleming said. “We have three teams in our age groups, and between the three teams, we try to get enough players to field an 11-a-side. And from there, we can see where players are starting to fit into certain roles on the field, and then try to encourage them.”