How Many Players on a Soccer Team?

How Many Players on a Soccer Team?

Do you know how many players are on a soccer team? There are 11 players in a professional or 90-minute game. This includes one goalie and ten field players.

Key Takeaways From This Article:

  • There are eleven players playing at once in a middle school, high school, college, and professional game.
  • The roster size will be larger and sometimes can include 23 players.
  • The amount of players on a youth soccer team depends on the age but five, seven, nine, and eleven are standard.

In youth soccer, the number depends on the age of the team. Most leagues start with four players and will eventually reach eleven by the time they play U13.

How Many Players on a Soccer Team

The Number of Players on a Youth Soccer Team

A youth soccer team typically has seven to nine players on a field at once. U8 teams and younger typically have four players without a goalie.

The United States Youth Soccer Association is a reputable and authoritative organization in America. It has defined rules, standards, regulations, and protocols for each age group.

According to the Youth Soccer Association, here are the number of players for each age group:

  • Under-six (U6), under-seven (U7), and under-eight (U8): 4 players and no goalkeeper
  • Under-nine (U9) and under-ten (U10): 7 players including goalkeeper
  • Under-eleven (U11) and twelve (U12): 9 players including goalkeeper
  • Under-thirteen (U13) and older: 11 players including goalkeeper

A youth team with seven to nine players has a match duration of between 40 and 50 minutes.

High-school soccer teams have eleven players and can play for 80 minutes. College soccer, MLS, and international soccer play 90 minutes with eleven on each side.

The Number of Players on a High School Soccer Team

A high school soccer team has eleven players on the pitch. Many high school teams will carry over 18 players for substitutes and injuries.

In addition, the size of the soccer field is larger than that of a youth soccer field. It is somewhat similar to the size of a professional soccer field.

What Are the 11 Soccer Positions?

The soccer positions are determined by the formation. For example, in a 4-4-2 formation, there will be:

  1. Goalkeeper
  2. Left-back
  3. Center-back
  4. Center-back
  5. Right-back
  6. Left Midfielder
  7. Center Midfielder
  8. Center Midfielder
  9. Right Midfielder
  10. Striker
  11. Striker

The positions would look a little differently in another formation like a 3-4-3 where there is only one center-back but three strikers (or forwards).

How Many Players Should a Team Carry?

In professional soccer, a team can carry about 18 players on game day but more can be active on a roster. For example, MLS teams can carry up to 30 players on their active roster but it needs to be trimmed down to 18 on game day.

Roster Size MLS

In youth soccer, it would depend on your league, organization, and coach. In the MLS NEXT and ECNL, a team can carry 18 on game day. From my perspective, 7 on the bench is too many. It makes it really hard for coaches to win games and play everyone fairly. With a roster this size, you’ll always make someone unhappy. Whether it’s the 18th kid complaining that they only played 30% of the game or the best player frustrated they got taken out with 15 minutes left.

In youth soccer, I think the sweet spot is having five substitutes including a second goalie.

Final Thoughts

While the starting lineup of eleven is important, everyone on the team should be a contributor. For players that don’t see much playing time, you should make practices a priority. For your development, you’ll get more out of the training than games…and this is okay. Remember, as a youth soccer player, it’s all about getting better and trusting the process!

Beau Bridges - Soccer Novo Hey 👋 I’m Beau. A proud Dad, former coach and soccer enthusiast. I continue to love the game of soccer today the same way I did when I was 7. I created to share what I know about the game as well as provide a platform so other parents can learn more about youth soccer in the U.S.

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