Soccer Positions - by Soccer-Drills.Net

We have outlined each of the soccer positions and a brief description of the skill set required for each position in soccer.

soccer positions and positioning in soccer


Soccer Positions

Knowing each of the soccer positions and the skill behind each position is important when learning (or teaching) the game of soccer. Each soccer position requires a special player with a special skill set, speed, or knowledge of the game.

From my experience coaching, young players often want to be the hero and score the goal. So many young players immediately want the soccer position of forward or striker. Knowing what soccer position is right for you or your team will help your team be more successful. Just because you are not a forward doesn't mean you won't be a successful soccer player. Take it upon yourself to learn many different soccer positions and learn to become a well rounded soccer player.

We have outlined each of the soccer positions and a brief description of the skill set required for each position. Soccer positions are described below.


The soccer position of goalkeeper typically requires a tall, courageous athlete that has great reflexes, superior hand-eye coordination, and is fearless. The goalkeeper must be fearless and courageous because they are required at times to layout a diving tackle and snatch the ball from an attacking forwards foot.

Since the goalkeeper is the only position on the field that can touch the ball with their hands during play, the keeper should be comfortable handling the ball. The keeper must be good at receiving balls out of the air in order to cut off crosses from the outside, and must comfortable with catching the ball overhead. They are also expected to stretch out and dive at balls played to the sides and be able to hold on to the ball.

The keeper is also required to possess the ball with their feet, so feet skills of a keeper should not be overlooked.

It is also important for the goalkeeping position to learn how to distribute the ball with their hands or by punting the ball down field to relieve pressure on the back, and possibly gain an attacking advantage. At times, the attack begins in the back, so it is important for a goalkeeper to have good vision and understanding of where the most efficient place to play the ball would be.



The sweeper is one of the most important soccer positions. This player is the heart of the defense and helps control the defense. This soccer position calls for a player that can read dangerous situations quickly, is cool under pressure, posses the ball comfortably, can read the game and intercept frequently, and is able to make positive passes out of the back in order to effectively build the attack from the back. This player must have speed, strength, stamina, good soccer awareness, confidence and a good tact for defending. Since this player is the last line of defense, they are the clean-up man.

Stopper - Center Fullback

The stopper plays in front of the sweeper. This soccer position is important to place a player that isn't afraid to stick their nose in on a tackle and is often a bruiser. Their main role is to mark the opposing team’s central striker. They must have good tackling ability, the ability to control balls out of the air, and the ability to strike a long clearing ball to the midfielders or forwards.

This position requires a tenacious player who is aggressive, strong, confident in the air, and a knack for relieving pressure on the defense.

Outside Fullback - Right and Left Fullback

The outside fullbacks are often very defensive minded, but are able to go forward on the attack too. Their main objective is defending, but should always be looking for attacking opportunities. The main responsibility of an outside fullback is to defend his own goal and his skills must be those of a defensive minded player.

This player does a lot of man marking, closing down attackers, supports other defenders, winning balls and most importantly watches for back-side runs. This position must possess good tackling skills, be good in winning balls out of the air, superior at heading, and able to concentrate fully. The defender is also good at reading the game and they are constantly repositioning themselves with every movement of the ball. This soccer position requires a player with speed, strength, concentration, aggressiveness and a good understanding of defending.

Outside Midfielder - Right and Left Midfielder

The outside midfield players act as a link between the defense and the offense while stretching the width on the field giving a wide presence. This position’s roles can vary based on the team’s tactical approach; however, this position requires a great amount of running. At any moment the midfielder might be defending in their own penalty area, and a few seconds later attacking deep in their opponent’s penalty area. This player should be defensive minded players with goal-scoring potential. These players require the ability to beat defenders down the line, crossing ability, and have speed, strength, stamina, and the ability to attack and defend.

Attacking Midfielder

The attacking midfielder is a position that is crucial to the attack and scoring goals. This player’s main responsibility is to provide close support to his strikers when on the attack, and is first to challenge an attacking opponent in the midfield area. Attacking midfield players must have a knack for scoring goals as well as stamina, strength, speed, determination and confidence on and off the ball.

Defensive Midfielder – Holding Midfielder

The defensive midfielder typically plays between the defense and the other central or attacking midfielder. This soccer position acts as a marking back and adds another line of defense in front of the fullbacks. This player must be the link between the defense, midfield and forwards. This player must have stamina

Central Midfielder

The central midfielder is typically the play maker. This player is responsible for supporting all players on the playing field, and must be able to calmly and confidently distribute the ball. These players must be offensive and defensive minded. Central midfield players must be intelligent and have a great understanding of the game along with stamina, strength, speed, determination, creativity, and confidence on and off the ball.

Winger - Left and Right Forward

The left and right forwards, also called wingers, are attacking players who are positioned near the sidelines. The forward’s primary job is to score or put their team in a good scoring opportunity by beat the defenders, get in crosses, or get within range to shoot. Outside forwards are

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