The latest episode of “Between Two Coaches,” a video series produced by LAFC, is a delight for those looking to better understand the game’s tactical side.
LAFC head coach Bob Bradley and Red Bull Salzburg head coach Jesse Marsch went in-depth on how they approach pressing and counter-pressing. It surfaces in different ways at their respective clubs, with both looking to flip turnovers upfield into high-percentage changes.
“The first stage is you have to be effective at attacking the ball,” began Marsch, the former New York Red Bulls and Montreal Impact coach. "And once you can do that effectively, then you can create the kind of habits so that when the player doesn’t have time and space to get his head up and look for big balls or big switches, then you can put the other players in positions so that they can eliminate passing lanes and think about stepping in front of players and aren't worried about so much about the spaces behind.”
Bradley and Marsch go way back, with the former coaching the latter at Princeton in the 1990s. Bradley then coached Marsch with Chicago Fire FC and US men’s national team, so their outlook is molded by similar experiences.
Specifically about LAFC, Bradley explained how Carlos Vela is their most important player when counter-pressing. He’s often an attacking hub for the defending Supporters' Shield winners, so he’s in a prime position to win the ball back.
“When we were trying to get across to our guys counter-pressing, we were trying to make sure that: ‘Look, Carlos, if you do something right there, then Latif [Blessing] and Mark-Anthony [Kaye] and these others, that’s where their ability to be part of it with you makes all the difference in the world’,” Bradley said.
For more from the managers, check out the entire clip below: