Common Soccer Formations
Typically soccer formation break down's, such as 4-4-2, 4-3-3, 3-4-3, and 3-5-2, describe the structure for a 11v11 match. With the recent change to the US Player Development Philosophy to focus on the small-sided games, we'll dive into formations for 4v4, 7v7, and 9v9 formations. As we start to look at formations, it's essential to understand what the numbers mean. The first numbers represent the defensive players, then mid-field players, then the attacking players. Some formations, such as a 3-4-2-1, represent defensive players, midfield players, forward players, and a lone striker.
11v11 Soccer Formations
The 4-4-2, four defensive players, four mid-field players, and two forward players are among the most widely used formations when playing 11v11. The strength of the numbers in the defense and mid-field numbers along with its simple structure. With only two strikers, the offensive side of this formation adds weakness to this formation if the mid-field players cannot get forward.
The 4-3-3, four defensive players, three midfield players, and three forwards, is another variation that emphasizes attacking soccer. The key to the 4-3-3 formation is the attacking players' width and their ability to exploit space outside the defense. While on the attack, the 4-3-3 allows attacking with at least seven players. On the flip side, when attacking, the defensive side of the field is left vulnerable.
9v9 Soccer Formations
More balanced formation.
Geared towards dominating the midfield. Defense oriented.
Attacking oriented. Leaves Defense Exposed. You must have the right defensive players.
Defensive oriented. Not much attack with only one forward.
Strong defensively. Exposes the midfield with only one player. Two players high put pressure on the defense.
Strong midfield play allowing width on the field. Decent defensive structure with midfielder assistance. Light on the attack with only one forward.
Basic structure with balanced defense, mid, and attack.