In soccer, when you think of a forward you think of a player how score goals. That's their job, to score goals. Forwars are there to make runs and put themselves into positions to score goals - it's as simple as that.
Players like Rooney, Samuel Etoo, and Chicharito of Manchester United constantly score goals because they get themselves into the right position in the goal box. They make the right runs and sneak in behind their defender to slot the ball home. They are hungry to score and angry when they don't score the game winner for their team.
But the best forwards not only score goals but bring that little bit extra to their team. These forwards bring an energy to the team, chasing down defenders to win the ball and holding the ball up so their team can build up an attack and keep possession. This is a player like Samuel Etoo, who was a star for both Barcelona and Inter Milan. Etoo famously chased the ball down and chared at defenders when they tried to build out of the back. And of course he was also there to score for his team.
'The most important thing for a forward is speed of thought. Top players read the game.' -Etoo
Here's a list of attributes all forwards should possess:
Good in the air - can flick the ball to a teammate or head the ball with power into the goal.
Strikes the ball well with both feet.
Reads the game (times their runs into the attack so they're not offside).
Takes chances - shoots when there's a chance it may result in a goal.
If they miss a shot they forget about it and try to score the next chance.
Has the endurance to chase back and win the ball when needed.
Can hold the ball up and keep possession so his or her team can build an attack.
Reminder: When you have a defender in the corner with their back turned, don't foul them. Please don't foul them. It's just not necessary. So often you see forwards foul the defender deep in the corner of the opposing team's goal, and it's something that’s so frustrating for the rest of the team. The defender is in their own defensive third, just close them down and force them to make a tough pass or kick the ball out of bounds. They're the ones who are in a tough position, don't give them an easy way out by fouling them.
Also, a forward has to have a poor memory. That means they forget quickly when he or she misses a shot or even a one on one with the goalkeeper. Instead, the forward's mentalilty has to be ready and waiting for that next goal scoring chance. The best forwards don't dwell on the fact they missed a shot or a wide open goal. The top forwards in the world only focus on scoring the next chance that comes.
NEW: Check out these soccer training sessions by position: