Soccer formations are an arrangement of positions. They largely determine how a soccer team operates.
The 4-4-2 is the most commonly used formation, so we’ll use it as an example.
This first thing you’ll notice is there are only ten players accounted for (each number represents a player so 4+4+2=10). The goalie is implied, so the position is excluded from the numbering.
Let’s start dissecting the number:
The first four represents the defense. Therefore, we know there are four defenders in this formation.
The second four represents the midfield. So there are four midfielders.
The two represents the offense. So there are 2 forwards.
This applies for every formation, even if there are less than 11 players.
Different teams and different coaches run different formations. Each has it’s advantages and disadvantages and depends on how well the formation is executed.
List of Common Soccer Formations
There are many different formations, but these are the most common:
All of these are 11 vs 11 formations. They will differ if you are playing with fewer players.