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Soccer Formations

Here are some examples of soccer formations commonly used.
Each of these formations has many different variations and can be changed for your team.

FORMATION KEY

Defense is represented with a
Midfielders are represented with a
Offense is represented with a
RED X
YELLOW X
BLUE X
 

 

3-3- 4

This soccer formation is set up with offense in mind. The three defenders must have speed.  If the team wants, one defender can drop back and play sweeper, or all three players can defend in a straight line. This is called a flat back defense. The midfielders must play both offense and defense.  Because there are four forwards, some forwards have to come back and help defend.  One player can be designated as the striker if the team chooses.


3-4-3

This soccer formation is used very often by teams. It allows for equal defense and offense. The midfielders should be pushing forward with the attack and dropping back to help defend. Some teams choose to designate one center midfielder as attacking and one as defensive, but as long as the players stay balanced on the field, this is not necessary.  One defender may drop back and play sweeper if the team decides.

 



3-5-2

In a 3-5-2 formation the whole team has to understand the roles of the positions and how they work together.  Defense can play as a flat back three, or drop the sweeper back to create space.  The three center mid fielders must learn to play together and create space. One person plays defensive midfield (like a stopper but they can still attack). The next center mid fielder plays the link player.  Their job is to create the plays going forward and help break up the attacks from the other team. It is important the link player still plays defense.  The third center midfielder is the attacking player.  This player can attack more than the other two, and sometimes even play the position of a forward.  The key of this formation is held with the three central midfielders and their abilities to stop attacks and distribute the ball

 


4-2-4

The 4-2-4 formation allows teams to have a strong defense and a strong offense.  It is harder to keep control of the center of the field while playing this formation. The defense can play a diamond with a stopper and sweeper (as shown) or a flat back four.  In a flat back four, the two outside defenders often run forward to play outside half back in the attack. The four forwards must come back to play defense as well as attack.

 


4-4-2

A 4-4-2 soccer formation can also be played with a flat back four defense, or a diamond defense. Once again, in the diamond two defenders play outside, one plays sweeper, and one plays stopper. The midfielders should be pushing forward with the attack and dropping back to help defend. Some teams choose to designate one center midfielder as attacking and one as defensive, but as long as the players stay balanced on the field, this is not necessary.

 


5-3-2

This soccer formation is set for a very defensive minded team. It will be harder to score goals unless the midfield pushes forward to help the attackers. Often times the outside defenders will push forward in the attack as well.

 

 

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