It goes without saying that the goalkeeper is a crucial position on the field. He can be used as the 11th player on the field and can assist the defence in being the relief player for the big clear on a pass back. His positioning is crucial to the success of the team. Once he is in possession of the ball, there are several things he can do depending on what is happening in the game. A balanced keeper will be alert for back passes and get a good feel for how to best cut down a shooter’s angle.
This is always a calculated risk and should only be used as a last resort in preventing a breakaway goal. It is a very tough skill to master because if your keeper comes out too fast, the attacker can put one good move on and be in on an open goal. Likewise, if he holds back too long, the attacker can get a good look at the goal and pick his target. The following two diagrams will show you the importance of picking an angle that cuts down the attacker’s shooting options.
With the keeper back on his line, Rooney has plenty of target space to either side of the goal.
In this example Peter Cech rushes out to cut down Rooney’s angle. Rooney still might be able to hit the far post, but his finish has been made much more difficult.
Also be aware that the attacker may choose a chip shot. Some good advice is to make a strong commitment and go for it. You will learn as you play the timing of what works best and it does indeed depend highly on the ratings of your player.
The drop kick is the best way to get the ball down field quickly. Check the radar before you let it fly. Make sure you target a player. Also, this is a good tool if when you gain possession of the ball you see a lot of your opponent’s players around you; it might be a good idea to hit the ball up field and possibly trigger a counter attack. However, unless you have a clear target player, it puts the ball up for a 50/50 challenge to maintain possession.
The throw is the best way to accurately get the ball onto the feet of your team member right away. A good tip unless time is running out and you are behind is to let the keeper hold the ball for a few seconds and allow your opponent to clear out. Once the area is clear, you can target a defender to start to build your attack. Make sure you are aiming at the right player before you release the ball; the default player that is chosen is not always the best choice. Also, the longer you hold the pass button, the further he will throw the ball. If you check the radar and see a player open or on your goal’s side of the opponent, judge the distance, face his direction and launch the throw. This is a very accurate way to send a player on a quick counter attack. Take note of how many defenders your opponent is running and you may get a chance at a long throw to ba reak away.
Drop the Ball
Dropping the ball is a risky move, but can be used effectively to get the ball down and start the possession right away or make a big clearance. The biggest tip for this is to take a very good look around your player and the radar to make sure you are not wrapping up a gift goal for your opponent. If your opponent’s defenders seem to play be playing far back, this might work well.
Goal Kicks is the keeper’s mechanism for restarting the game after the offense knocks it over the endline. Here are some good tips to remember: if time is running out, then a short kick is not an option. If time is not a concern, it is a good idea to use the short pass.
This is almost always the best option just because it almost assures that you will regain possession. Target the best defender with the most open space and start your build up from there. You often will need to take control of the receiving player and bring him back to the ball once the pass is made.
There is no guarantee that you will win this one, but your best shot is to check your radar and find the best potential target player. Make sure you go up strong with that player to get to it first. This is best done if there is a hard press on your goal by the opposition, as it can give you the potential of a quick counter attack.