What is meant by the term “soccer formations”? They must be important since there’s a lot of attention given to them. Sometimes you’ll hear about the 4-3-3, the 4-4-2, or the 4-2-4. These are all common soccer formations. For a beginning coach or player, it sounds like a lot of confusing mathematics. Actually, it’s quite simple and the more familiar you are with formations, the better your team will become as well as your overall understanding of soccer.
Formations are the way a soccer team lines up its defense, midfield, and forward line at the beginning of the game. When discussing formations, defenders are listed first followed by midfielders and forwards. For example, a 4-4-2 formation (see diagram on right) consists of four defenders, four midfielders, and two forwards. Because goalkeepers are a position that never changes, they are not included. This is the reason why all formations seem to be based on 10 field players.
If you want to get technical, you could produce dozens of formations based on mathematical possibilities. Coaches are always experimenting and trying to gain advantages when playing the game.
Here are a few popular formations for you to consider: