Corner Kick Defense: My Soccer Restart Books Available on


Defensive Corner Kick Defense: 

There is always a debate if zonal marking or man to man is better for corner kick defending.  I personally like a hybrid model where all attackers are man marked but 3 defenders are marking space.  In this picture the 5 attackers at the back of the box are marked by the 5 defenders.  There are 2 blue defenders located on top of the 6 yard box marking space (zonal defending) and 1 defender covering the inside post.  If the attacking team try a short corner with 2 players the blue team would send 2 of the zonal marking players to defend 2v2 – however the blue defender marking the inside post would stay and block any ball driven into the near post. The defensive corner kick defense was used by Real Madrid under Jose Mourinho.

The problem with an all zone marking corner kick defense is that attackers can get a running start into the zones and often out jump, out run and better time the incoming cross.  I noticed the US Women’s National Team is now using an all zonal marking system on corners this world cup.  It will be interesting to see how it holds up in the semi-finals against Germany!