The Numbers, Player Roles & Formations
2– Right Fullback
3– Left Fullback
4– Center Back
5– Center Back (or Sweeper, if used)
6– Defending/Holding Midfielder
7– Right Midfielder/Winger
8– Central/Box-to-Box Midfielder
10– Attacking Midfielder/Playmaker
11– Left Midfielder/Wingers
Defensive Soccer Positions
1 – Goalkeeper (GK): The last line of defense to stop the opponent from scoring, this player protects the net. Only player allowed to use their hands and arms to block shots and pick up the ball while the game’s in play.
The rule only apply in the designated penalty area.
Defenders/Backs: They are responsible for protecting the goalie, blocking shots and stopping the other team’s offensive players from passing, receiving, shooting and scoring.
Center backs, fullbacks, wing backs and one sweeper.
- 4/5 – Center Back (CB): Also known as the central defender, center fullback or stopper, a 4–4–2 formation will have two center backs, which will hang back to protect the goal.
- 3/2 – Fullback (LB, RB): Defenders on the left and right sides of the field, also referred to as outside fullbacks.
- They play wide to protect the sides of the field, and will often move up and down the field to help with offensive plays.
- 3/2 – Wingback (LWB, RWB): They play wide left and right, running up and down the field. This position requires a lot of stamina and can be more physically demanding than other positions.
- 5 – Sweeper (SW): Their job is to sweep up any balls that get past the defensive backs and stays behind the other defenders, they can also help take the ball up the field in an offensive push.
Midfield Soccer Positions
- 4 or 6 – Defensive Midfielder (DM): Also known as a holding midfielder, they play directly in front of the defenders. In a 3-4-3 formation, the 4 will flank the 6 as the two holding mids.
- 8 – Central Midfielder (CM): This player plays both defensively and offensively, depending on where the ball is. They are responsible for distributing the ball to other players.
- 10 – Attacking Midfielder (AM): They must know how to score goals and dribble well to avoid the opponent’s defenders. They are the play makers.
- 11/7 – Left/Right Midfielder (LM, RM): They play wide, helping pull the opponent’s defense to the outside to create space for their offensive line.
Offensive Soccer Positions
- 9 – Center Forward (CF): They must focus on scoring.
- 9 – Striker (S): This player positions themselves nearest to the other team’s goal, in front of the center forward.
- 10 – Second Striker (SS): When used, they sit right behind the center forward and are mainly responsible for setting up scoring opportunities for other attackers.
1-4-3-2, with one sweeper, four defensive players, three mids and two forwards; or a 4-4-1-1, which has four defenders, four mids, one second striker and one striker.