The first thing to understand when we are looking at defensive soccer positions is where the defenders are actually positioned on the field during a game. Every defensive player is positioned at the end of the field nearest the goal they are defending. As you can see in the image below, the defenders are spread across the width of the soccer field.
The centrebacks are the most defensive-minded outfield soccer positions and it is their job to protect the goalkeeper and put their bodies on the line. Brave and physically imposing — these players never make it easy for the opposition’s strikers.
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Defensive Soccer Positions. 1 – Goalkeeper (GK): Usually the last line of defense to stop the opponent from scoring, this player protects the net. Also known as the keeper or goalie, this is the only player allowed to use their hands and arms to block shots and pick up the ball while the game’s in play.
The most common formation of these positions on a soccer field consists of four players in ...
Direct and organize the defense. Find opportunities to move the ball forward on the field. Punt and usually take goal kicks. DEFENDER. The defenders are the players situated in front of the goalie. In general, a defender’s primary area of play is the defensive third of the field, closest to their own net.
Forwards, midfielders, and defenders are split into more specific positions based on their coverage of the left, center, or right sides of the field. The difference on how far forward or back each position covers is determined by the specific position, which we will cover next.
Left/Right Fullback: The fullback in soccer is the wide defensive position. Their main job is to defend from wide positions, usually stopping opposition wingers from getting crosses into the box. In the modern era they also have a job when attacking, in supporting the wide midfielders or wingers.
So, by way of example, a 4-5-1 formation includes 4 defenders, 5 midfielders, and one offensive player. Coaches use different formations based on the strengths and weaknesses of their team, the make-up of the opposing team, and the stage and score of the game.