Misleading thread title hopefully got your reading. I have coached a Boys HS Varsity soccer team for seven years. If you ask me how many players I want to defend centrally for my team, I say 2. If you ask me how many players I want to control the flanks, I say 2 per flank (fullback/outside midfielder combo). If you ask me how many players I want to control the center of the pitch and link to the frontline, I say 3. If you ask me how many strikers I want to use, I say 2. If you've been counting, that adds up to a 4-5-2. Houston, we have a problem. So, the question is, where to cheat?! I have tried a lot of different things, but in most seasons I usually wind up playing a 4-4-2 with two deep-lying center midfielders who do an adequate job controlling the middle but cannot do much in terms of supporting the central strikers. Pretty old-fashioned, but my experiments with a lone striker have led to pretty toothless attacks, and my experiments with 3-5-2 have led to problems at the back. I experimented with a very traditional Dutch 4-3-3 (4-2-1-3) last season but struggled in transition. Any suggestions? I know this is a very generic question, just trying to stimulate a tactical discussion I guess!!