06 July 2014 by Diane
Most Important Soccer Vocabulary
assist (verb/noun): to pass the ball that leads to the goal
ex. He had 2 goals and 1 assist in the match.
Attacker / Forward (noun): a player that makes an assertive or aggressive attempt to score
ex. Ronaldo, Messi and Robben are three of the best attackers in the world.
Corner kick (noun): a free kick from the corner of the field
ex. He always takes the corner kicks for his team.
Crossbar (noun): the horizontal bar between the posts
ex. The player shot the ball, and it hit off the crossbar.
Defender (noun): a player whose task is to protect the team’s goal.
ex. David Luiz is one of the best defenders in the world.
dive (verb): deliberately fall when challenged in order to deceive the referee into awarding a foul
ex. Some players are very talented at diving.
dribble (verb): take (the ball) forward past opponents with slight touches of the feet
ex. He attempted to dribble the ball across the entire field!
first touch (noun): the first contact the ball has with a player’s foot
ex: He has a great first touch.
Foul (noun): a penalty given for an unfair play against an opponent
ex. You should try not to foul the other team inside the box.
Goal (noun): a pair of posts linked by a crossbar with a net attached behind it
ex.. He scored two goals in the last match.
Goalkeeper / Goaltender / Goalie (noun): a player whose role is to stop the ball from entering the net
ex. The US goalie made 15 saves in the game against Belgium.
Goalpost (noun): the side of the goals
ex. The Netherlands hit the post three times against Costa Rica!
handball (noun): intentionally touching and redirecting the ball with the hand or arm, constituting a foul
ex. That was a handball!
Header (noun): a player hits the ball with his/her head
ex. He is really good at headers on corner kicks.
in the box: inside the 18-yard-box (the box just outside of the goal)
ex: He was fouled in the box!
Linesman (noun): an official who assists the referee or umpire from the sideline
ex. The linesman made a good call.
long ball (noun): a ball that is hit, kicked, or thrown a long way
ex. He is talented at sending long balls over the top.
Mark (noun): the specific player who you are responsible for guarding
ex. Everyone get a mark!
Midfielder (noun): the players on a team who play in a central position between attack and defense
ex. Our midfielders need to attack a lot in today’s game.
nutmeg (verb/noun): to pass the ball between the opponent’s legs
ex. He nutmegged the defender before taking a shot.
Offsides (adj): in the attacking half ahead of the ball and having fewer than two defenders between the attacker and the goal line at the moment the ball is played
ex. The linesman threw up his flag to show offsides.
on the bench: where the substitutes sit when they are not currently playing in the game
ex: He was on the bench for the whole game.
Overtime (noun): extra time played at the end of a game that is tied at the end of the regulation time
ex.. The games in the World Cup have 30 minutes of overtime, if they end in a tie.
own goal (adj+noun): scoring a goal against your own team
ex: The first goal in the World Cup was an own goal!
pass (verb): move or cause to move in a specified direction
ex. He passed the ball to his teammate.
Penalty kick (noun): a free kick at the goal from the penalty spot (which only the goalkeeper is allowed to defend), awarded to the attacking team after a foul within the penalty area by an opponent
ex.. The referee awarded the opponents a penalty kick after the foul in the box.
pitch / field (noun): the place where a soccer game is played
ex.. The players lined up on the pitch / field.
Punt (verb): kick (the ball) after it is dropped from the hands and before it reaches the ground
ex.: The goalie punted the ball across the field.
red card (ad j+ noun): a card shown to a player being eliminated from the game
ex. Because of his red card, his team had to play a man down for most of the match.
referee (noun): an official who watches a game or match closely to ensure that the rules are followed
ex. The referee made some terrible calls.
Score (verb/noun): gain a point
ex. He scored a hat trick (a hat trick is three goals)!
Set piece (noun): a thing that has been carefully planned
ex. That team is really good at set pieces.
Shoot (verb): kick the ball in an attempt to score a goal
ex. He shoots and scores! GOALLLLLLLL!
Shootout (noun): a tiebreaker decided by each side taking a specified number of penalty kicks
ex. The Netherlands won the game in a shootout!
Shutout (noun): a competition or game in which the losing side fails to score
ex. The game ended in a shutout.
Sliding tackle (adj + noun) : make an effort to steal the ball by sliding on the ground with one leg extended
ex. The referee called a foul against the defender for doing a dangerous sliding tackle.
stoppage time / injury time (noun): extra time added at the end of each half to compensate for the time lost dealing with injuries
ex. Most halves have about four minutes of stoppage time.
substitute (verb / noun): a player who replaces another player during the game / to use in place of
ex: Referee, I’d like to make a substitution!
Trap (verb / noun): to stop the ball
ex. He trapped the ball with his right foot and immediately took a shot.
yellow card (noun): a card shown to a player being cautioned
ex. He got a yellow card in the first minute of the match.
a game changer – a situation that can have a dramatic effect on something
ex: Learning English could be a real game changer in your career.
to be on the ball – to be aware of what is happening all around you
ex: You need to be on the ball in this job.
to watch from the sidelines – to be an observer, rather than actively involved in something
ex: Don’t just watch from the sidelines. Do something!
to kick something off – to start something
ex: “I’d like to kick this meeting off by welcoming our guest speaker.
at this stage in the game – at this point
ex: I don’t think there is anything we can do at this stage in the game.
to take sides – to support one person or cause against another or others in a dispute or contest
ex: I refuse to take sides in this argument.
a game plan – a strategy worked out in advance
ex: We have to come up with a good game plan if we want to beat the competition.
give it one’s best shot – try one’s hardest
ex: I don’t know whether or not I can do it, but I’m going to give it my best shot!
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