Football Blogger

My thoughts and tips about football

Youth Football Formations

There are many youth soccer formations that you can use for your team, but deciding the best one for your team is not always a straight forward decision. A number of factors play a part in deciding which formation to use including:

  • Number of players on the team.
  • Types and styles of players on the team.
  • The current state of a game.
    eg. the current score, time left
  • The importance of the game.
  • The formation and quality of the opposition
  • Number of players on the team

Note: Its interesting that when we talk about formations, we nearly always exclude the goalkeeper. For instance in an 11 a side team the formations are 4-4-2, 3-5-2, 4-4-3 etc. In the following formations I will continue with that standard. My humble apologies to those keepers that feel left out again, but I do have a Special Page for Goalkeepers

5-a-side soccer formations

In 5 a side competitions, including Futsal and indoor soccer, there are generally 2 formations that used, one for attack and one for defense.

If you ever need to play 5-a-side, then check the 5-a-side formations suggestions.

11-a-side soccer formations

Eleven a side soccer is generally played from the ages of 10 and upwards, depending on the association that you belong to.

Eleven a side offers the greatest flexibility in formation used, and variations are often created to counter the creativity of other teams and the formations or tactics that they use.

I have listed the most common formations here as they are most suited to youth soccer, because they offer flexibility with simplicity.

The 4-4-2 Formation

The 4-4-2 formation is undoubtedly the most popular formation used by soccer teams, and one of the easist to understand.

The 4-4-2 formation offers great flexibility, and is relatively easy for youth soccer players to understand their roles.

The 4-4-2 formation also provides the basis of other formations by simply moving a player forwards or backwards. eg the 3-5-2 formation is achieved by simply moving one of the defenders into the midfield.

Of all the youth soccer formations, the 4-4-2 is by far the easiest to understand and learn by players.

4-4-2 is the #1 in youth soccer formations

The 3-5-2 Formation

The 3-5-2 formation is achieved by simply moving one of the defenders from a 4-4-2 formation into the midfield. However the roles and responsibilities of players changes to cope with the change in formation. The 3-5-2 formation is particularly useful if you have 3 very strong defenders and a number of good midfielders.

There are a few variations on how to use a 3-5-2 formation, and the style of play that you can use in a 3-5-2 formation, it can be either an attacking formation or a defensive formation, depending on how you decide to shape your midfield. The 3-5-2 formation is probably the #2 in youth soccer formations, and well worth learning and understanding

The 4-3-3 Formation

The 4-3-3 formation is a fairly attacking formation, but again the tactics used will vary on the players that you have available.

The 4 defenders would act the same as in a 4-4-2 formation, but the midfielders would likley hold a more central position.

The roles and responsibilities of players in a 4-3-3 formation can vary somewhat depending on the style of play you wish to adopt.

The 4-5-1 Formation

The 4-5-1 formation is another simple variation of the 4-4-2 formation.

By simply moving a striker into the midfield will give you a 4-5-1 formation.

There are many situations when a 4-5-1 formation is needed, and there are a number of variations of roles and responsibilities of player of the 4-5-1 formation.

Soccer Formations are very important, but they are only part of The Winning Formula!

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