Getting recruited as a midfield player in college soccer could mean you step into a variety of roles for your team. But do you struggle with understanding how to best play certain roles in the midfield? Here’s a breakdown of the different positions on the field and how to best embody the perfect player in each position.
Center Attacking Midfield (CAM or #10)
This position requires you to be smooth and clean on the ball. Many coaches will want their CAM to be an attacking threat who links the play between the midfielders and the forwards. When playing this position you need to be aware of where you are on the field at all times as you need to be an outlet for your other midfielders and sometimes for your defenders. Remember to make quick decisions and have knack for scoring a few goals to become the best center attacking midfielder you can be.
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Center Midfield (CM or #8)
This position sounds pretty simple right? But it’s actually one of the toughest and hardest working positions in the game. The true center midfielder is also nicknamed the ‘box-to-box’ midfielder. The nickname is exactly as it implies, you must work from your own 18-yard box to your opponent’s 18-yard box. You are a key attacking player but also a key defensive player. In order to excel in this position you must be extremely fit and calm and collected on the ball. The #8 is the mainstay in the team and connects the defensive back line to the forwards. To play this position it’s best to be one of the most fit in the team and always have your head on a swivel.
Center Defensive Midfield (CDM or #6)
This position is probably one of the most important positions in the team. The center defensive midfielder is the first line of defense ahead of the back line. Their main job is to break up the play and distribute the ball to the other midfielders or forwards. As a CDM, you must enjoy defending with the occasional charge up the field. You are the true connector of the midfield to the back line and you must not be afraid to make a tackle. The best players in this position rarely give away possession and always make the right decision. In addition this position requires you to have a pristine first touch and be able to move the ball well from side-to-side and back-to-front.
The position center midfield has developed into three sub-categories of players. If you fit the mold to multiple positions then college coaches may try you out in a few different spots to see where you can best play at the next level. No matter what position you decide to play, remember that all midfielders must have a good first touch and make quality decisions when on the ball.
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