In the 4-4-2 formation, pictured above, the sweeper/stopper version has the sweeper as the last defensive chance behind the defensive line. Here are some details about the positions: Sweeper (SW) The sweeper should be a leader on the field.
More 4 4 2 Soccer Formation Stopper Sweeper images
You can take what you have played and play a "1-2-1-4-2 " (a Sweeper, 2 FB's and a Stopper). You don't give your team's age, but as you move up, you will face teams that attack by leaving their Forwards pushed up to the halfway or your FB's and use fast counterattacks.
SMU coach, Hyndman, list a sweeper and a “center back” in his description of the 4-4-2 but he diagrams all the backs straight across, as flat a back four as your can diagram. He seems to prefer a high back line, which would imply a sweeper playing without much depth.
As stopper is simply another term used to describe a centre back in soccer or a player who plays just in front of the backline as cover, usually as a defensive midfielder. Depending on what type of formation the team is playing with, there can sometimes be two centre backs for example with the 4-4-2 formation (four defenders- two centre backs).
DEFENDERS of the 4-4-2 can play many different ways. They can play in the diamond formation, much like they would in the 4-3-3 formation. They can play flat across the back of the field in a line. They can play in an arc shape, eliminating the stopper position and forming a double sweeper.
Typically a 5-3-2 formation, suits a more defensive team shape, with the sweeper sitting neatly behind the two Centre Backs and wing backs. 4-4-2 Sweeper Formation A sweeper can be used with many different formations, but the next popular is the 4-4-2 with the sweeper behind a defensive line of 3 players.
Due to the demands of the modern game, it’s primarily in youth soccer that you now find teams lining up with a stopper and sweeper in defence. The stopper usually lines up as part of a back four with two fullbacks to either side of them and a sweeper slightly behind them. As such, the defence has an almost diamond shape to it with the stopper being the defender who’s expected to contest each header and win every tackle and the sweeper cleaning up any loose balls that get through.
No other player may enter the end zones until the ball does. The quicker the sweeper moves the ball out of the end zones and into the midfield zones, the less chance the opposition has of mounting an attack. Use games of 4v4 for man-marking. Man-marking is a vital component of the sweeper/stopper defense.
For the most part, the presence of a central, defensive midfielder (CDM) has meant that the two center backs both play at the "sweeper" level. 4-4-2 with CDM (rendering stopper obsolete)