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Registered: 04/11/04
Posts: 58
Reply with quote  #1 
Anyone know where I can find a relatively brief description of this?


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 3,658
Reply with quote  #2 
I am not sure of the level of detail you need. If you can do a search in the internet, you'll get many hits.

For example, here's a simple description with graphics Sweeper/stopper defense

The shortest description I can make is: there are 4 defenders, 3 mark the opposite forwards (the middle defender marks the center forward and is called the stopper). The fourth defender (sweeper) is free to help any of the 3.

Registered: 01/26/04
Posts: 5,651
Reply with quote  #3 
I'd say it couild be more simply described as a flat back three with a spare player.

I don't like a diamond defence as it allows opposition players to exploit the space in the centre of the diamond.

The back three are basically marking their opponent and the sweeper does exactly that, sweeps - playing across the whole width of the defence basically the sweeper is always the cover player, no marking role. If you are using this system the sweeper needs to be a good reader of the game so that s/he doesn't waste time running about needlessly. The sweeper also needs to recognise and cover the gaps.

A wise man once told me never argue with an idiot as bystanders may not be able to tell the difference.

Registered: 04/29/04
Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #4 
Last year I inherited a U12G team running the Diamond D and ended up dropping it. Without a super sweeper or two, it was farily easy for opposing CF's to exploit. Get them a ball in the center and they have one player, the sweeper, to beat. I also agree with the opinion that it teaches the other defenders to count on help always being there. Depending on the age your coaching, I don't think it develops defending as well as a flat back system.

My 2 cents.

Registered: 04/28/04
Posts: 36
Reply with quote  #5 
I actually use the sweeper-stopper now and it does indeed look like a diamond ( i coach girls u13)

outside backs each mark up one of opponent's forwards (assuming they play a 442) and the stopper does just that, stops the first unmarked player with the ball coming at us. sweeper is a free player to clean up any mistakes.

how to attack us? diagonal balls behind the outside backs, but our sweeper will clean most of those.

put someone on our sweeper. but then our sweeper will slide up and our stopper will slide back and change places so we'll still be left with a sweeper.

strengths/weaknesses in every defensive system. your job as coach is to take what talent you have available and put it into a system that will work.


Registered: 01/26/04
Posts: 5,651
Reply with quote  #6 
Ront, I agree with your comment that you take what you have available and use it.

Couple of things though

How do you defend the wide areas?

Your outside backs mark the opponents forwards, provided they are playing a 4-4-2. Now if the opposition have two forwards who will normally be central although one will be expected to make runs into wide areas, and assuming those two forwards are working as a pair and keeping 15-20 yds between thyem, playing across the field, one dropping off the other etc. doesn't that drag your two full backs all over the place?

A wise man once told me never argue with an idiot as bystanders may not be able to tell the difference.

Registered: 01/26/04
Posts: 1,095
Reply with quote  #7 
In a nutshell: A sweeper stopper defense relies on man-marking the opponent’s two strikers with the marking backs. That leaves two backs without marking assignments. The stopper is the non-marking back who consistently pressures the ball carrier as it approaches the back line. The stopper’s role is to pick off any early crosses (diagonal balls like from near the half-touch intersection), stop the direct-up-the-middle through ball passing lane, pressure the ball carrier as he approaches the back line, and make the play predictable without being beaten. It is also fairly important for the stopper to have good aerial skills, since he will be vying for headers defensively quite often. The other non-marking back is the sweeper, who plays behind the marking backs to provide cover (take away the vulnerable space behind the marking backs). Typically the sweeper is also very fast and a skilled player who can “bail out” the teams defense after it fails elsewhere (typically an attacker beating his mark, either with or without the ball).

The sweeper-stopper defense is sometimes called the “diamond defense” because it resembles a diamond when plotted on the coach’s clipboard:


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