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Murrysville Area Soccer Association

Murrysville Area Soccer Association


The 1-2-1

The 1-2-1 features a diamond shape with one defender (the "sweeper") at the base, one forward at the top (in the most advanced position on the field), and two outside midfielders (one to the right and one to the left). The 1-2-1 is the formation used in 4v4 situations when teams are not employing goalkeepers.

More than anything else, the philosophy of the 1-2-1 is to introduce developmental players to all three levels of the field (defense, midfield, and attack) consistently. Success at the highest levels of soccer (where all players are world class) often depends on the ability of teams to maintain their attacking and defending shapes. The 1-2-1 introduces players to the two most basic and important shapes (upon which all higher-level formations are based): the triangle and the diamond. When developmental players play all of the different positions in the 1-2-1 consistently, they begin to learn the fundamentals of tactical soccer firsthand. Because there are only four positions on the field, the 1-2-1 promotes a disciplined approach to playing one's position both in the attack and in defense. Players begin to see how the actions and movements of one player influence and sometimes predict the actions and movements of other players. This awareness is essential to the tactical development of players as they advance to more challenging levels of the game.

Value of the 1-2-1
Because it is the foundation of all of the more advanced (and often very different) formations of the 7v7, 9v9, and 11v11 levels, the 1-2-1 is the formation used by all MASA teams at the developmental levels (U6 and U8). 


Murrysville Area Soccer Association
PO Box 494 
Murrysville, Pennsylvania 15668

Email: [email protected]

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