Center back, much like goalkeeper, is a position where players perform better over time.
There’s not quite the dynamic that forwards and attacking midfielders lean upon, where pace, drive and ingenuity aren’t beholden to or limited by age. Rather, the best backline marshals gain a tactical understanding and positional sense that comes with reps and experience.
Just ask Michael McFarlane (Suffield, Conn.), a senior center back at Middlebury, who’s poised to be one of the NESCAC’s premier defenders during the 2021 season. The same context applies to his place in the region’s overall Division 3 landscape.