Read the other posts in this college soccer recruiting series on Defensive Center Midfielders, Goalkeepers, Center Backs, Outside Backs, Strikers, Wingers, and Attacking Center Midfielders.
The eights and tens are the playmakers in the group. They control the offensive play of the team, and they’re gonna do a lot of the work for us when we have the ball. They normally act as a link between the midfield and the forwards, but there is definitely a distinct difference obviously between an 8 and a 10.
There are all kinds of different names for the 8, such as the box-to-box midfielder or the late-running midfielder. They’re a creative attacking midfielder but also have defensive responsibility. They are critical to linking the back of the team to the front of the team.
The number 10, depending on the way your team is set up, maybe doesn’t defend that much, but the 10 is going to have a lot of the responsibility of creating play and really driving the game forward from an offensive perspective.
Key things to include when sending your attacking center midfielder highlight video to college coaches
- Highlight your technical ability. Show your cheekiness, your craftiness, your ability to get out of pressure. Your technical When you’re in this role, you’re definitely going to be in the opposition scouting report. The other team is looking for you so that they can stop you from directing the game, so you have to figure out how to do just that.
- Include moments that show you can play the game in 360 degrees (like you’ve got eyes in the back of your head). Prove in your video highlights that you have an awareness and can receive the ball and know beforehand who you are going to pass it to (or shoot to score). For example, you’ve got to find moments that do that that will show your ability to skip out of a tackle or to find a pass when you’re under extreme pressure.
- Show dynamic movement off the ball. Show how you create space for yourself. Defenders will be tryign to block the ball from getting to your feet, but you have to prove you can move with ease to create openings. Show that you can make an intelligent run to get in between the lines so your number six can find you and then you’re off into their the other team’s back four.
- Show you can score goals. If you remember Clint Dempsey when he was in the US National Team, he was a one of the best eights that’s ever played for our country. But he was great because he scored goals from the number eight spot, and he was that late running eight that scored from distance. An ACM is meant to be creating scoring opportunities, but this position is also responsible for taking calculated attempts to score.
- Show you can shoot from distance. Shooting from a distance forces the other team to step up and defend the 8s and 10s, which in turn allows the 8s and 10s to play the killer pass to put the number 9, 7, or 11 behind the other team. Show you can strike fear in your opponents to stretch them and create opportunities for yourself.
- How do we fit into the way our team defends? The tens do have to do a little bit of work off the ball; a lot of times that will be directing the players that are around them whether to press now or wait and then go. You’re sort of becoming a coach on the field in that sense.
Watch a Sample Attacking Center Midfielder Highlight
What the Trace moment above shows college coaches: The center midfielder’s going to work herself into a great spot and make space for herself. She’s kind of gone away and got lost, but now she’ll come back when she realizes the defender is on her back. She lets the ball beat her and off she goes and now she’s into the opposition’s back four. And there goes the killer pass.
This is just class right here. She feels it, out she goes, she gets in a half-turn, she accelerates, she shows a good change of pace, and then she’s in behind and causing major problems for the other team. So that’s a great picture of how a number 10 could actually accentuate what she does and what she brings to the game: some savvy and then the killer instinct to go in behind the other team.
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