Footballing Newsletter #2

Footballing is Bethesda's newest creation. A source dedicated to the die-hards, crazies, enthusiasts, and soccer heads out there. A monthly newsletter that will have in-depth interviews, individual development exercises, tactical video, analysis, articles, and more.

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In-Depth with Jose Ortega

A 35-minute in-depth conversation with Jose Ortega, U19 MLS Next player, Duke commit, and Bethesda Lifer (U8-U18) talks about his soccer journey and how he got to where he is now.

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Teamwork & Leadership


What does it mean to be a good teammate? Why is it important to truly be a team in competitive club soccer? How can everyone be a leader, when a team has so many different personalities? 

Teamwork (noun): cooperative or coordinated effort on the part of a group of persons acting together as a team or in the interests of a common cause...KEEP READING


Defending Principles


Style of Play – Defensive

Atletico Madrid is very well organized defensively and this has been a strength under Simeone. The video above is a breakdown of their 4-4-2 defensive shape.

High/Medium block

Most of the time Atleti will use a high block with aggressive tactical pressing, but in some away matches against possession-based teams, they have resorted to a medium block.


The pressing is initiated by the strikers and the rest of the team will follow them. They will either try to force the long pass from the opposition or force them wide where Atleti will press in packs to win the ball.


The midfield will narrow and become compact in an attempt to force the opposition into wide areas to press them as mentioned above  


Needs to be able to organize and give instruction to an unorganized defense that is still in transition. Be good at coming for crosses and shot-stopping.

Central Defenders

Confident in 2v2, and 3v2 situations, very good at dealing with crosses and blocking shots. Able to slow opposition attack to allow outside backs to recover into position. Organize defensive unit and communicate with the midfield. Own their zone.

Outside Backs

Confidence in 1v1 situations, understand when to press when the opposition is on their side, and press as a ‘gang’. Fast in recovery to get back into position after the attacking phase.

Central Midfielders

Get back into position and organize the midfield unit. Help the central defenders by picking up 2nd ball if the opposition plays a longer pass. Know their defensive zone and defend within it. Understand when to press after taking cues from strikers.

Outside Midfielders

Know role and zone when organized in a defensive position, but also understand how to recover and get back into position after attacking. Know how/when to press as a team and also when the opposition is on his side.


Strikers identify and initiate pressing when they see one of the triggers and know how to press to force the opposition wide or into a long pass. Also, get organized if pressing isn’t an option and stay compact as a team unit. 

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What Made Xavi Great?

The game seems easy when you watch players like Xavi, and that's because of the way they manage their game. Their awareness, how they receive the ball, how they play the ball, the decisions made, and positioning can all be trained, but it takes a footballer to dive in and immerse oneself in the details.

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Real Madrid vs Liverpool

A breakdown of the Champions League Final.

"My players never doubted we would win!" Carlo Ancelotti on Real Madrid's UCL win over Liverpool.

Match Details

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What we are reading and listening to this month

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