Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

Youth Soccer Players: Understanding Positions

Soccer is a game of eleven players per side, consisting of a goalkeeper and ten outfield players. These outfield players are assigned different positions based on their roles in the game. Understanding these positions is crucial to appreciate the dynamics and strategies employed by each player on the field.


Forwards, also known as strikers, are positioned closest to the opposing team’s goal. They are responsible for scoring the majority of goals in soccer. Typically, teams have two strikers working together to create scoring opportunities.

Types of Forwards

  1. Center Forward: This player is the primary goal scorer on the team. They often receive assists from midfielders and utilize their positioning to convert chances into goals.

  2. Second Forward: Also called supporting or second strikers, these players have the ability to perform both as midfielders and forwards. They provide support to the center forward and contribute to both scoring and creating opportunities.

  3. Wingers: Wingers are quick players positioned closer to the sidelines. They use their speed to attack the goal from the outside and deliver precise crosses to the center forward or other teammates in front of the goal.

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Wingers in action


The midfield is a crucial area of the pitch where players have responsibilities both in attack and defense.

Defensive Midfielder

A defensive midfielder is positioned in front of the team’s defenders. Their primary role is to disrupt the opposing team’s attack by intercepting the ball and linking up with the attacking midfielders or forwards.

Center Midfielder

Center midfielders are versatile and creative players. They contribute significantly to the team’s performance by scoring goals, defending effectively, and providing accurate passes to their teammates.

Attacking Midfielder

Attacking midfielders operate closer to the opponent’s goal. They actively participate in the attacking phase, supporting the forwards in the offensive third of the field.

Attacking midfielder creating opportunities


The defensive line is responsible for preventing the opposition from scoring goals.

Central Defenders

Positioned in the center of the defense, central defenders are tasked with stopping opposing players, particularly forwards, from scoring. They play a crucial role in clearing the ball from their team’s penalty area.


Sweepers are defenders who excel at intercepting and “sweeping” the ball away from the opposing team when close to their own goal.

Outside Defenders/Full Backs

Full backs are positioned in the two outside positions of the defensive line. Their primary responsibility is to mark and defend against offensive players attacking from the wings. They aim to restrict attackers from cutting inside and prevent crosses into the penalty area.

Wing Back

Wing backs are full backs who actively participate in offensive play on the wings. They often cover more ground than any other player on the field, contributing to both defense and attack.

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The goalkeeper is the last line of defense, stationed in the goal. They are the only players allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms. Every team must have a goalkeeper on the field at all times.

To learn more about soccer positions and player statistics, visit Pesstatsdatabase.


1. How many players are there in a soccer team?
A soccer team consists of eleven players, including one goalkeeper and ten outfield players.

2. What is the role of a defensive midfielder?
A defensive midfielder is responsible for disrupting the opposing team’s attack and linking up with their teammates to facilitate the team’s offensive play.

3. What does a center forward do?
A center forward is the primary goal scorer on the team. They receive assists from midfielders and position themselves to convert chances into goals.


Understanding the different positions in soccer is essential to appreciate the tactical nuances and strategies employed by players on the field. Whether it is the flair of the forwards, the versatility of midfielders, the solidity of defenders, or the resilience of goalkeepers, each position has a crucial role to play in the beautiful game of soccer.