Defensive Team Shape


Teams should have 2 basic shapes, an attacking one and a defensive one; wide and long on offense, short and tight on defense. The differences between each should be significant in terms of spacing between players. A problem that occurs is defensive team shape is not short and tight enough and it allows opponents too much time on the ball. Coach Ryan Pratt will take you through how his team at Houston Baptist University effectively space out and shift in their defensive team shape.


The Coach


Texas High School Coaches Association



Ryan Pratt | Houston Baptist University

Ryan Pratt enters his first season as the head coach of the HBU men’s soccer team after three seasons with the Huskies as an assistant coach.

As the top assistant for the Huskies, Pratt played an integral role in all facets of the program. During his tenure as an assistant, the Huskies had two players receive All-WAC honors, one CoSIDA Academic All-America honoree, five CoSIDA Academic All-District selection and numerous Academic All-WAC selections. Additionally, the Huskies received the National Soccer Coaches Association Team Academic Award each season.

Pratt came to HBU from Jacksonville, Fla., where he spent two seasons as the head men’s soccer coach at Jacksonville University. The Dolphins qualified both seasons for the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament. Under Pratt’s leadership, the team received back-to-back National Soccer Coaches’ Association of America (NSCAA) Team Academic Awards while coaching five All-Conference selections.

Prior to his time at JU, Pratt spent two years as an assistant coach at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, Va., from 2010-12. During his time, the Rams had back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2003-04. He also coached three NSCAA All-Region players and 10 All-Colonial Athletic Association members.

Pratt spent nine seasons as the head men’s soccer coach at the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Ala. He had an overall record of 99-61-12 and a 43-17-2 conference mark. He set the program record with 18 wins in 2007 and had a perfect conference record (6-0) in 2008. The Falcons went to the NCAA Division II National Tournament four times and were national semifinalists in 2007. Pratt is the school record holder for all-time wins and all-time winning percentage.

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Caterory: Soccer/Defense
Bookings: 21
Videos: 9