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5 Things You Need to Know About Soccer Anatomy Dribbling Drills

1. A Striker's Place

Strikers, also called forwards, are the goal scorers on a soccer team. They play in front of the midfielders, and often are involved in only offensive plays. Most teams use 2 or 3 strikers depending on the team's formation. On soccer teams with 2 forwards, the strikers begin game play on either the left or right side of the field, but often switch those positions throughout the game. Teams with 3 forwards designate a left, right and center striker.

2. The Strikers' Support System

Soccer forwards rely heavily on the team's midfielders. The strikers can easily become isolated from the rest of the team if the midfielders have trouble transitioning from defense to offense. Midfielders are expected to remain open to receive passes from the strikers when the opposing team's defense applies pressure, as well as provide scoring opportunities for the strikers by crossing and passing the ball. On teams with only two strikers, the center midfielder often acts as the third striker when the team is attacking the goal.

3. Move It

Strikers create scoring opportunities by moving around the field in an unpredictable manner. To lose the an opposing defender, a striker must be able to alter her speed without much effort. It's common to see strikers seemingly jogging aimlessly while the ball is played on the opposite end of the field, then explode into a sprint when it's time to receive a pass or chase down a ball. Strikers should look for diagonal lanes across the field to run in rather than straight up and down the field. The center of the field typically provides the best scoring opportunities.

4. Scoring Opportunities

Corner kicks are an opportunity for strikers to put the ball in the back of the net. A corner kick is awarded when the defending team plays the ball out of bounds through its own end line. During a corner kick, the attacking team places the ball at the corner of the field where the sideline meets the end line. A player, typically a midfielder, plays the ball across the field toward the goal where the strikers are waiting to receive the pass. To capitalize on corner kicks, strikers must be able to shoot the ball while it's in the air. Strikers who can skillfully head the ball have an advantage during corner kicks.

5. The Offsides Trap

Strikers need to be aware of their position on the field in relation to the opposing defenders. The referee calls an offsides foul when a player is between the ball and the other team's goal without an opposing player behind him. The exception to this rule occurs when a player is running after a loose ball. Strikers are vulnerable to being caught offsides because they typically play beside the other team's defense. When the ball is being played forward, strikers must wait for their teammates to pass the ball before running past the defenders.