training session

3 Team Rondo - By Guest Coach Marc-Kevin Schwenk


Marc-Kevin Schwenk is currently coaching at Queen City Mutiny ( and taking his USSF "C" License.  He grew up in Berlin, Germany playing at Hertha 03 Berlin for his youth soccer then played collegiately at Queens University (Charlotte, NC) and Gardner-Webb University.  Below is a session that Marc-Kevin said they typically use with the U13 U.S. Development Academy at Queen City Mutiny. 


Attracting defenders to find space behind the defensive lines

Setup: Create a diamond shaped grid, that is 20 yards wide and 40 yards long, that will be divided into 2 halves. We use this shape to force our players to create passing lanes diagonally, which are a key in our style of play.

Organization: 3 team rondo (6v3). In one half, there will be 1 player from one team and 2 players from the second team and vice versa in the other half. The third team is in the middle, while only 2 players can go to defend the side that the ball is on. Players are allowed to combine with any player in their half, but can only play with their teammate when switching the ball to the other side. If the team in the middle wins possession, the team that lost the ball will defend.

Variations: This is an exercise we start using with our U10s up throughout all academy ages, and therefore adjust it based on the level of play. For our older players we tend to make the grid smaller to force a higher speed of play and depending on the objective of the training may restrict their touches.

Coaching Points: Play short passes to attract the opponent, long passes to beat the press. Analyze where the space is and how we can keep possession to progress. Body position, checking shoulder, weight of the pass