Film Study: Atlas LC seesaw cuts
Jeff Teat and Chris Gray are the two stars on the left and right side of Atlas LC’s offensive sets. The first overall pick in the 2021 College Draft and the second overall pick in the 2022 College Draft are the building blocks of this offense. Part of what makes them and this offense hum so efficiently: They’re both better off-ball than they are dodging.
Atlas LC’s midfielders have emerged as initiators since the All-Star Game. Bryan Costabile is averaging an assist per game (4th in assists among midfielders). Dox Aitken is dodging hard and carrying doubles confidently. Instead of initiating with Gray and Teat along the perimeter of their 1-4-1 set like we usually see, Atlas kicked Gray and Teat inside for most of Saturday’s matchup – allowing Costabile and Dox to draw slides.
Gray is at his best catching in a shooting position. His hitches are so deceiving. When Aitken or Costabile forces Gray’s defender to hedge, it sets up Atlas for quick ball movement and hands-free shots. Press your foot on the gas to close out to Gray in time, and he’ll split and zip past you in the other direction.
Teat ran those same seesaw cuts on the opposite side while Daniel Bucaro dodged. If Bucaro drives underneath, Teat pops high. The spacing makes it impossible to double Bucaro without leaving Teat open.
Teat and Gray are shooting a combined 24-for-49 (49.0%) off the catch. That seesaw cut on the wing has opened them up for stepdowns and for “one more!” passes to Eric Law sneaks. If the Atlas midfielders can draw slides (or even hedges) from those two, it will almost always lead to points.