Positional Definitions 101

If you’re trying soccer for the first time, the number of different positions can prove to be a little overwhelming. QueensCast, the leaders in all things Orlando Pride, are sharing this overview of positional definitions perfect for the soccer beginner or a player looking for a quick recap. Check out each position as well as its definition, objectives, and play, and keys to performing well in this position.

Center Forward

  • Offensive player. This position is located very close to the opponent's goal.
  • Main Objective: Shoot for goals and distract defenders to give their teammates the opportunity to shoot.
  • Keys to This Position: Ability to manage the ball in the air, strong ball control skills.

Withdrawn Striker (Attacking Midfielder)

  • Offensive player. Depending on the formation, you could have one withdrawn striker behind the center forward or two within the center midfieldline.
  • Main Objective: Score goals by using other players as distractions.
  • Keys to This Position: Strong ability to receive and send passes. Ability to identify opportunities for attacks.

Wide Midfielder (Wing)

  • Offensive player. This is a winger that focuses on side attacks.
  • Main Objective: Attack from the sides.
  • Keys to This Position: Quick moves, skills in passing and dribbling.

Central Midfielder

  • Offensive and defensive player. This position is located at the center of the field and plays both defense and offense.
  • Main Objective: Create opportunities to score and prevent attacks from opponents.
  • Keys to This Position: Endurance, technical ability.

Defending Midfielder (Holding Midfielder)

  • Defensive player. This strategic position is placed a little bit in front of the defensive line.
  • Main Objective: Keep the ball from approaching the defensive line.
  • Keys to This Position: Strategic thinking, ball tackling, pass intercepting.

Center Back

  • Defensive player. Centerbacks are commonly a pair, however when running a three backline there is only one. The number will vary on the formation.
  • Main Objective: Center backs protect the goalie and block opponents.
  • Keys to This Position: Tackles at ideal times, ability to manage the ball in air.

Full Back

  • Defensive player. Full backs are the two outside defenders on the outside of center backs.
  • Main Objective: Protect against side-attacking opponents.
  • Keys to This Position: Speed, agility, and focus on the opposing winger.

Wing Back

  • Defensive player. Wing backs are similar to full backs, but they are able to run the entire length of the pitch.
  • Main Objective: Protect against opposing wingers.
  • Keys to This Position: Endurance, as this is a very physical position. Wing backs also work to push forward to create scoring opportunities.

Goalkeeper

  • Defensive player. The goalkeepers have a few main roles. They obviously defend the goal. In addition, goalkeepers direct the defense and distribute the ball. The goalie is unique because they are able to use their hands on the ball as long as they are within the goal area.
  • Main Objective: Defend the goal
  • Keys to This Position: Focus, hand-eye coordination.

This is a short overview of each position on the pitch. With practice, players can learn which positions they are best suited for and enjoy playing most. For more helpful tips about soccer or information about the Orlando Pride, continue to read the QueensCast blog.