So you want to learn how to counter attack in soccer. The key to a counter attack is speed through one and two touch soccer so you surprise the other team when they are caught try to score. Another key is a long switch or diagonal pass that cuts out a number of defenders.
Below, in this video is a collection of some of soccer's best counter attacks from some of the best teams in the world. Might want to turn down the music though, it's a bit annoying. Again, the counter attack epitomizes good soccer, as it's all about quick one and two touch passes, and getting to goal as fast as possible when the opposing team has pushed up trying to score.
A counter attack is a quick attacking play by a team who right before this was on the defensive. This team maybe is in a shell, packed in, and hunkered down against a top team and only trying to pull out the tie. Then the sun breaks through and with one fell swoop they're running towards goal as two or three passes has broken the other team down.
For instance, one team might have nearly scored only for the ball to go out of bounds, off the touchline for a corner, and maybe then another corner or series of corners. Once the corner kick is taken the ball is cleared, at last, and with one or two passes the team that was just defending on a corner kick is now charging on goal.
One team has been absorbing all of this pressure and nearly concedes a goal, and in then in a series of passes or an amazing dribbling run, is themselves nearly scoring a goal.
The key to a counter attack is the speed of play--and it usually entails a sequence of two or three killer passes that put a player on goal. It's these quick passes the open up the game and create the counter attack. It often also involves switching the point of the attack from one side to the other, but the main thing is a long pass, perhaps a first time layoff by a forward and then another through ball or cross that leads to a goal scoring chance.
The keeper can often start the counter attack too. There could be a long clear or say a quick throw or punt by the goalie. It's the foresight and recognition of one or two players putting one of his or her teammates quickly in the advantage with a long pass or a series of quick one and two touch passes. They see the opportunity and go for it as the majority of the other team is stuck up trying to score themselves. The previously attacking team is now vunerable, as they have only one or two players back defending--with everyone is pushed up. This is when a counter attack takes place and is one of the most exciting plays in a soccer game.