Formation, Roles, Positioning We had our first game last night and while we lost a few games, it was a lot of fun and a learning experience. Part of the problem is we had a bunch of defensive minded VPs on. Another part was folks lurking into the middle and cluttering a bit too much. So I thought i'd make this post. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts. But the idea is to have almost a reference thread so anybody can join us on the field and know ahead of time what they need to do depending on how they lineup on the field. Formation: 4-2-3-1 Center Forward Role: Target man for crosses and passes into the box. Ability to play with his back to the net, hold the ball up and distribute to other threats. Able to harass opposing CBs with his presence. Chief scoring threat on the team. Offensive Positioning: He should be the furthest up field with all other players at least slightly behind him. He is either getting the two CBs to concentrate on him - opening space for other players - or the target for through balls when one of the CBs roams. Basically a magnetic force defenders need to gravitate to and always keep an eye on. He should play towards the center of the field but can move anywhere the width of the box. Defensive Positioning: He should never venture too far to our side of the field - always providing a threat for a long ball and counter-attack. Aside from harassing defenders with the ball in their own half, he has no defensive responsibilities. CAM Role: The playmaker. Has the freedom to roam anywhere on the pitch to make things happen - whether feeding the CF or scoring himself. Offensive Positioning: Can roam to where he's got space. Plays just behind the CF, but should try and not stray too wide. Usually he's going to be in that open space around the top of the box. Defensive Positioning: Doesn't have a lot of defensive responsibilities. Can harass when the ball is coming up the pitch, otherwise he'll tuck in to be a link between a defender winning the ball and the CF on a counter-attack. LM/RM Role: More defensive minded than the CAM. Need to be able to cross balls into the box or thump from range while occasionally collapsing into the box. Offensive Positioning: Should be about even or perhaps a little behind the CAM but out wide. Their game is either to push the ball down the wing or fake the push up the wing and push back in to the middle of the field. Should be able to fire from range or pass the ball long distances. The key is these players provide attacking width. Defensive Positioning: While they provide width on offense, they take it away on defense, protecting the sides of the field and trying to push the attackers into the middle - hopefully into the waiting arms of the CDMs. Need to play box-to-box. CDMs Role: Holding, defensive minded midfielders. Their job is to get the ball back and start the teams offensive strike. Offensive Positioning:Should be in that space between the CAM and the defenders - so just on the attacking side of midfield. They can press and attack but need to make sure there's coverage for a counter. Need to be good passers in traffic and able to fire shots from range. Defensive Positioning: Need to be the first line of defense against a counter, quickly getting to our side of the field and breaking up attacks before they get into the threat of scoring range. The two players should split the field in half and have the ability to roam in that area to get the ball back. With that said, the LM/RM should be covering the wings, so these guys should concentrate on the middle of the pitch - clogging the passing lanes. CBs Role: Last line of defense on the counter. Strong defenders that can take the ball away and also stand up to tall, strong strikers. Offensive Positioning: Should never venture very far into the offensive half. If they do, they'll need a CDM or LB/RB to cover them. Defensive Positioning: Should be stationed in the middle area of the field, with an eye toward covering the opposing strikers. Should not venture far outside of the box area. Ideally any CB that keeps the attackers in front of him is doing a great job. LWB/RWB Role: Usually defensive minded players, but who can also attack down the sides of the field and cross the ball into the box. Offensive Positioning: Have the ability to fly down the wing and provide width if an LM/RM cuts toward the center of the field. Otherwise they're slightly more forward than the CBs but not as far up as the MFs can go. Defensive Positioning: Two chief responsibilities - stop crosses from coming in from the outside, but also collapsing into the middle when needed as backup for the CBs.