A-League rivals paying Sydney FC the ultimate compliment: imitation

It is one of the A-League’s great traditions that each new season starts with teams copycatting elements of the previous season’s winners.

When Ange Postecoglou’s Brisbane Roar swept the league by dominating possession, several teams attempted to be bold with the ball the following year. When Tony Popovic’s Western Sydney Wanderers were successful with high pressing, their opponents then tried to put the squeeze on each other.

The Sydney FC team of 2016-17 will go down as one the competition’s all-time best. They managed the all-time records for points scored, goals conceded, clean sheets, goal difference, and the second-longest undefeated streak. There are, inevitably, many ideas to like, and many ideas to steal. Here are four we saw in the opening round.

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