The following description of each position comes courtesy of Dick’s Sporting Goods. Each position also has a traditional number associated with it, and while players are no longer required to wear the number tied to the position they play and instead have permanent personal numbers, the positional number is still quite often used in the discussion fo tactics and formations. The traditional attacking numbers are:
10– Attacking Midfielder/Playmaker
11– Left Midfielder/Wingers
Offensive Soccer Positions
Forwards, or strikers, are the primary attackers and play closest to the opponent’s goal. Their main objective is to score as often as possible. They are usually the quickest on the field and must have exceptional ball control. They should be able to take a shot from all angles, even directly off a pass. It’s also important that any offensive player avoids being offside at any time.
- 9 – Center Forward (CF): Center forwards and strikers can often be synonymous. They must focus on scoring, whether this means dribbling past opponents when they have the ball or ensuring they stay open for a pass when they don’t. Being able to head the ball accurately can really come in handy here.
- 9 – Striker (S): This player positions themselves nearest to the other team’s goal, in front of the center forward. A striker’s primary role is to score. Their teammates will try to pass to them often and there is constant pressure from the other team’s defense, so they should be fast enough to outrun defenders and possess quick footwork and precise ball handling to be most effective. When the other team’s defense is in possession of the ball, strikers should apply pressure to increase the defender’s chances of making a mistake.
- 10 – Second Striker (SS): When used, they sit right behind the center forward and are mainly responsible for setting up scoring opportunities for other attackers. They should be able to shield the ball from the other team and hold them off while waiting for their teammates to position themselves for a good shot. As with any offensive position, second strikers should shoot on goal when they have the chance and possess good ball skills. Heading can also be very important in this position.