Should I Take Out a Player Who Has a Yellow Card?
As a coach, should you take out a player who already has a yellow card in a soccer game? You need to lean on your intuition and assess the current situation. I’ll explain both scenarios.
The Case to Take the Player Out
I would take out that player if they pick up a yellow card early in the game and continues to play aggressively (i.e. – slide tackling).
If a referee hands out one yellow card, they are not scared to do it again. If this happens, he or she will be sent out of the game and your team will have to play with one less player.
Additionally, depending on their league, they may be suspended for the next couple of games. Is that really worth 20 additional minutes? Probably not.
When You Should Leave a Player In
On the other hand, there may be times when you just leave a player in for the remainder of the game with a yellow card.
I would leave a player in if they pose very little risk of getting a second yellow and is making a significant contribution to the game.
You’ll take a low risk in order for them to finish off the game and possibly win the game.
My Son’s Coach Took Him Out
A few games ago, my son got a yellow card in the first half for pulling a player down (kind of by accident he says).
During halftime, his coach let the team know that the two kids with yellows should be cautious. It was a 1-1 game against a very good team so he wanted all eleven kids out there.
Well, my son is either all in or all in and has a difficult time “taking it easy.” There was a play where he tried to make a slide tackle from the back. Luckily, he got all the ball but it was all the coach had to see. My son was immediately subbed out with good reason. Another yellow would have resulted in a red card and a two-game suspension in MLS NEXT.
I give kudos to his coach for making the smart decision.
How’d the game end up? We ultimately lost 3-1 but it was closer than what the score reflected.