How We Play

Copa Academy:  How We Play – Most relevant points of each of the four key components

United’s Copa Academy Program supports different formations based upon the strength of each team’s players, adaptability of each team and the coach’s knowledge of the game.  Supported formations are, 2-3-1, 3-2-1 and 2-1-2-1.  Within each of these formations United’s players will adhere to the following:



Passing & Receiving:  Passing the ball on the ground with pace and accuracy and receiving the ball while keeping it moving

Shooting:  Players must develop the ability to shoot from different distances.  All players will be encouraged to shoot from any distance during the game.

Ball Control & Turning:  Players will be encouraged to keep close control of the ball and use different turning techniques to move away from the defender.

1v1:  Players must develop the ability and confidence to beat a player.



Build The Attack:  All teams must feel comfortable playing the ball from the back, breaking lines and playing through midfield to the attacking third of the field.

Width & Depth:  Create space to attack by encouraging movement and stretching the field and opposition.

Possession & Transition:  All team must try to keep possession of the ball.  Players will be encouraged to support and move, creating passing options and numbers up situations.  Once players are comfortable with this system they must learn to move the ball quickly from one area of the field to the other.

Offense-Defense, Quick Transition & Vice Versa:  When possession is lost players must react quickly and apply pressure to regain the ball.  Once possession is regained, players will react to keep possession and counter attack.


Speed & agility, Endurance and Strength/Power


Copa Academy:  How We Play – Key elements for coaches that define the style of play


Offensive Style:  All teams will be encouraged to display an offensive style of play based on keeping possession and quick movement of the ball.

Quick Transitioning and Finishing:  Speed of play, attack at speed, avoiding over dribbling, looking for an organized and quick movement of the ball and finishing will be encouraged in all age groups.

Position Specific:  Teams must be organized defensively, keeping their specific positions in the formation.  However players will look for spaces and movements to support forward when attacking by moving away from their original positions.