Different Soccer Positions
There are four different soccer positions on a team: forward, midfielder, defender and goalkeeper. In total, eleven players fill these positions in different formations. The most common formation is known as a 4-4-2, which consists of four defenders, four midfielders and two forwards, along with the goalkeeper. However, variations can be made to this formation depending on the team's preference.
The forwards, or strikers, are responsible for scoring or assisting on goals. There usually are between one and three forwards on the field for a team. They position themselves in a line parallel to the goal line. They spend most of the game on the opponent's side of the field, near the goal. Forwards are usually skillful players who can create scoring opportunities for both themselves or other teammates.
Midfield may be the most difficult soccer position, as midfielders have both offensive and defensive responsibilities. For this reason, most teams employ four midfielders. The job of the this position is to dispossess the opposing team members of the ball or receive the ball from the defenders. From there, they move the ball up the field to the forwards. They are normally two midfielders on each side of the field and two in the center. A common practice is to use one center midfielder as a "defensive midfielder" whose responsibilities are primarily defensive, and the other as an "attacking midfielder" who is mainly an offensive player.
- Defenders play behind midfielders and in front of their own goal. In soccer, like most sports, this position is involved in preventing the opposing team from scoring. Two defenders are generally lined up on opposite sides of the field, similar to midfielders. These players are known as fullbacks. Two other defenders are positioned in the center of the field. Occasionally, one of them will line up behind the other defenders and act as a last line of defense. This player is known as a "sweeper."
- The goalkeepers job in soccer is simple: keep the ball out of the goal. Goalkeepers are the only players allowed to use their hands. On a team, there is usually one starting goalkepper as well as a backup goalkeeper.