Knowing the responsibilities of the different player positions in soccer will enhance your understanding of the game.
Appreciate the goalkeeper. Also called goalie, or keeper, goalkeepers are unique in that they are the only players allowed to touch the ball with their hands. They may use their hands within the penalty area to keep the opposing team from scoring.
Watch the defenders. Their primary role is to take the ball away from the offense and start the attack in their team's favor. Their secondary role is to shut down the attack of the opposing team.
Check out the midfielders. They are often among the most hard-working players. They play both offense and defense. The midfield (middle ground) is the link between the offense and the defense.
Keep your eye on the forwards. They finish the attack and try to score. They must be willing to come back and aid in the midfield or defense to start an attack. Often, forwards are required to help defend corner kicks and free kicks.
Tips & Warnings
- Understand the fluidity of the game. There is no such thing as a fixed space or position in soccer. Players may interchange positions according to the flow of the game.
- Differentiate between the youth and adult games. In the early stages, children should be encouraged to rotate positions in order to learn them all. As a general rule, they should not specialize before age 11 or 12.
- Learn the rules. The Laws of the Game are the international guidelines of soccer. They are adapted for youth play, and may vary slightly among leagues.
- Understand how positions are played. Systems of play (e.g. called "4,4,2" or "4,3,3") refer to the alignment of defenders, midfielders and forwards, in that order.
Rules & Regulations of Soccer
With relatively few rules, soccer is a simple game to understand and appreciate. Soccer giant Pele dubbed it "The Beautiful Game," and...
Physical Skills Needed to Play Football
It takes the human body one-fifth of a second to see a play unfold, process the information and react. The quicker your...
What Are the Duties of a Football Linebacker?
One of the key positions in American football is the linebacker. The linebacker has many responsibilities and is one of the main...
How to Evaluate a Soccer Player
It requires skill and insight to evaluate a soccer player on the basis of his strengths and weaknesses on the field. The...
Player Positions in Soccer
What is the difference between a forward and a striker? Learn about the three main positions in soccer, as well as two...
How to Coach Young Soccer Players on Positions
The first thing a soccer coach should convey to young players is the responsibilities and roles of each position. Coach young soccer...
How to Know Soccer Team Positions & Their Roles
In soccer, players are usually lumped into defenders, mid-fielders and strikers. Know soccer-team positions with tips from a soccer coach in this...