3-5-2 Soccer Formation

The 3-5-2 soccer formation is yet another one of the many different soccer formations available for coaches to choose from.

It is characterized by have three defenders in the back, five midfielders, and two strikers up front. This formation as had been mentioned in other formations has its strengths and weaknesses. One of the key functions that I've seen mentioned is the importance of having a central midfielder available to help the defenders.

This formation can change and move around. But one of the weaknesses in this defense is it may struggle against teams that provide attacks from the wide areas. If the ball is played from one side to the other side the defenders in the back may have trouble.  Here are some key things to look at in this formation by position.

3 5 2 formationDefenders

As was mentioned above the defense only has three denfenders. They are strong again attack up the middle but weak on the outsides and successtiple to balls being switched from one side to the other.


Its important to have a midfielder available to help a defender when he/she gets pulled out of position. With five in the middle they can push up on the outsides to provide width in the attack.


Two forwards allow the option of checking to the ball and another forward staying high for the through ball.


3523-5-2 tips

Learn more about this formation:  the strengths, weaknesses, and other key ideas.

3523-5-2 Soccer Video

This video of the 3-5-2 Football (soccer) formation shows how to properly play this formation as the ball moves around the field.