Door 2: LAFC Transitional Game

Two Goal Transition Game:

This session is one that has been adopted from Los Angeles FC, and molded ever so slightly to change the restraints and goals of said drill. “Manufacturing” transitional play in sessions is incredibly hard: the constraints of training make these drills far too structured and predictable, and thus not truly representative of what counter attacking football is like in-match. I like this session because the fluidity of a two goal game makes this session quick, less formulaic in what types of things defenders and attackers will see, and of course – fun for the players.

The video below is what types of goals are possible within these constraints, and how varied the transitions players will be forced to deal with can be. The game is narrow in it’s set up (the width of both boxes), but quite long. This means that the defensive players are able to try and compress space in these transitional moments, and the attacking players can try and stretch the pitch in beneficial ways: ways which create danger in behind and through gaps. If the game was much wider attacking players would be prone to forcing the pitch *too* wide, and thus would kill the momentum that is important in this session – verticality. As you can see below in the diagram of the session, these wider areas of the pitch are laid out purely for the benefit of the attacking players: These are the areas where they can find success in making runs in behind or holding their position when on the weak side. 


  • Two teams of ten, plus one attacking player.
  • Attacking and defending players cannot get involved in play in the opposite half: (i.e. defenders cannot join the attack, and attacking players cannot track back to defend. the neutral player (yellow) is exempt from these rules.
  • In the attacking half, players are allowed three touches max. Once again, the neutral player is exempt from these rules. 
  • Game is played in three minute rounds.
  • As soon as possession goes out of play, or a goal is scored. The ball is immediately sent in from the center of the pitch to find the neutral. 

Coaching Points:

  • Stress the importance of playing in as few touches as possible – even with the 3 touch limit!
  • Attacking player’s movement must be as vertical as possible (without being in an easy to defend straight line).
  • For defenders, look to remain tight and compact without being overly narrow, and thus easy to play around.
  • The passes from the attacking players should be (if possible) to the furthest available forward in possession.
  • Attackers should get shots away early whenever they have time or space within range. Don’t delay.
  • Individually, defenders should force opponents wide of goal, delay attackers in their efforts at getting shots at way, and be patient.
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