SOCCER POSITIONS

Soccer positions and how to teach soccer positions.

Soccer positions types and how to assign soccer positions.

Soccer positions basics and details.

Soccer positions are explained in 47 pages, both offense and defense; Soccer Fullbacks, Midfielders, Forward, Goalkeeper, Stopper, Sweeper. Click the links below.

Soccer Positions, Formations and Tactics Articles:

Soccer Positions Basics & Soccer Kick-Offs

How To Teach Soccer Positions

Teaching Soccer Positions is complicated by the fact that, except for Fullbacks at young ages, players often move around the field and don't stay in one place. So, the positions are "relative" to each other. Generally, when on Defense, the "left" side players should stay on the left side of the field, the "right" side players on the right side of the field (left and right are as you face the opposing Goalkeeper), Fullbacks should be closer to their Goalkeeper than their Midfielders are, and Midfielders should be closer to their Goalkeeper than their Forwards are. These guidelines also apply to a degree when a team is on offense, but not as strictly. Offense is more creative than defense and players often need to move to "open space" or work together and be opportunistic in order to score; this is particularly true with Midfielders and Forwards, because most coaches may want their Fullbacks to be conservative and stay in a defensive position in case there is a counterattack by the opponent.

The number of players who play on the field varies greatly by age and league, and can range from 3 per team to a maximum of 11 per team. If there are only a few on a team they may not have "Midfielders".

Following are the basic positions for each team:

One Goalkeeper.
There is always just one Goalkeeper per team. The Goalkeeper's job is to defend his team's goal and he usually stays close to his goal. You can identify the Goalie because he wears a different colored shirt or a vest over his shirt. Except for "Throw-Ins" and to pick up the ball in "Re-Start" situations, the Goalie is the only player who can legally use his hands. This is a very simplified description, read "Goalkeeper" in the SoccerHelp Dictionary for more details.

Usually 2 or 3 Defenders who are called Fullbacks.

Fullbacks play closest to their goal (which is the goal their Goalkeeper defends). Along with the Goalkeeper, they have the primary job of stopping the opponents from scoring. To a degree, every player should be a "defender" when the opponent has the ball. One way to teach this is by teaching the concepts of "First Defender" and "Second Defender".

Usually 2, 3 or 4 Midfielders.

The Midfielders play between the Fullbacks and the Forwards. They are often in the "Middle Third" of the field. There can be "Offensive Midfielders" who play closer to the Forwards and "Defensive Midfielders" (also called "Stoppers") who play closer to the Fullbacks, as described below.

Usually 1, 2 or 3 Forwards.

Forwards play closer to the opponent's goal, which is the goal guarded by the opposing Goalkeeper. The Forwards are the primary scorers, although Midfielders sometimes score and at older ages Fullbacks even occasionally score.

There are also 2 special positions that some teams use; a "Sweeper" and a "Stopper".

A Sweeper will play behind the Fullbacks and a Stopper will play between the Fullbacks and the Midfielders. These positions add additional layers of defenders and give you defensive strength in the Center of the field. A good Stopper can be worth 2 goals per game to Rec teams, and is the most important position on the field for many Rec teams. The importance of the Stopper is discussed at SoccerHelp.

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