Soccer Positions Made Easy

I have divided soccer positions into two main categories, Basic and Advanced.

Beginning soccer parents should know the basics.

I have thrown the advanced soccer position terms in just for fun and to further your knowledge if you have the desire.

Don’t forget to check out my soccer book and soccer video recommendations! Any of the recommended books or videos will give you a wealth of information beyond what you can learn online.

Basic Soccer Position Terms

Backs – Refers to defenders.

Defender – A player who works mainly in the defensive third of the field. They are primarily focused on stopping the opposition’s attackers from scoring.

Forward – A player who is responsible for most of a team's scoring. They play in front of the rest of their team (or in the attaching third of the field) where they can take most of the shots.

Fullback – a rear defender.

Goalie – Abbreviation for Goalkeeper.

Goalkeeper – I bet you know this one. The player positioned directly in front of the goal who tries to prevent shots from crossing the goalline; the only player allowed to use their hands and arms, though only within the 18-yard penalty area.

Keeper – Abbreviation for Goalkeeper.

Midfielder – A player generally positioned in the middle third of the field between the forwards and defenders. Their job is to link the defense and the offense through ball control and passing. They play both an attacking role and a defensive role.

Striker – Generally the same as a forward, though it sometimes refers to a forward that is his team’s primary scoring threat.

Sweeper – Not always used. In some formations, a single defender that plays closest to their own goal behind the rest of the defenders; a team's last line of defense in front of the goalkeeper.

Advanced Soccer Positions

Attacking Midfielder – The midfielder that plays right behind the forwards; they support the offense by providing passes to forwards to set up goals.

Central Defender – A player who guards the area directly in front of their own goal, often considered the strongest defender.

Central Forward – A team's best-scoring forward who plays towards the center of the field.

Central Midfielder – The midfielder most responsible for organizing play in the midfield area, creating scoring opportunities for the attackers, and often a team's leader.

Defensive Midfielder – The player positioned just in front of their team's defense and often assigned to mark the opposition's best offensive player; tends to play more defense as a midfielder.

Finisher – A forward or striker who has the ability to "put away" or score when opportunities are given to them.

Halfback – Same as a midfielder.

Midfield Anchor – Same as a defensive midfielder.

Midfield General – Same as the central midfielder.

Midfield Maestro – Same as the central midfielder.

Stopper – The player that defends or guards the best scorer on the attacking team, often the opposition's striker.

Wingers – The outside forwards and midfielders (often the fastest players and best dribblers) who play on the sides of the field. Their primary task is to provide them with accurate crossing passes so they can shoot at the goal.

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› Soccer Positions

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