Direct Style

Direct play can be characterized as a style containing long passes, a low number of passes, short passing sequences, and a low number of touches per ball involvement. The direct play approach uses an intensive pressing down with players and looking to score quickly after capturing the ball from their opponent. In essence, the direct play style is an attempt at moving the ball into a shooting position as quickly, and directly, as possible with the least number of passes. A direct play style is interesting because players almost always are passing the ball forward long and vertically, often times they are passing the ball into areas rather than to specific players. This allows players to move under the ball or play the ball of the bounce or trap it. These long passes also are usually dropped into space behind the opponents back creating a foot race among players. These fights for second touches or second balls off the bounce are characteristic of direct soccer. All goal kicks are punted long in order to spur offense and create these 50/50 balls behind opponents. Another aspect of direct soccer is that the free kicks in the defensive and middle third are usually kicked long with players moving up for the kick. Again, this emphasizes the long vertical balls pushing forward.



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“Attacking Styles.” Guide to Football,

“Navarro, Javier. “Attacking and Defensive Styles of Play in Soccer: Analysis of Spanish and English Elite Teams.” Taylor & Francis, 7 Apr. 2016,


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Author: Jake Seau

How to cite this article: “Direct Style,” Written by Jake Seau (2018) Soccer Politics Pages, Soccer Politics Blog, Duke University, (accessed on (date))