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Soccer glossary

3-on-1 breaka type of break with 3 attacking players against only 1 defensive player.
advantage rulea clause in the rules that directs the referee to refrain from stopping play for a foul if a stoppage would benefit the team that committed the violation.
advantagessituations where a team has possession of the ball and outnumbers the opposition near the opposing goal.
american footballa term used by non-americans to distinguish the popular u.s. sport of football from soccer which they also call football.
apslamerican professional soccer league — the nation`s only outdoor professional soccer league since 1991, consisting of 8 teams in the u.s. and canada (expanding to 12 by 1995).
attacking midfielderthe most forward-playing midfielder, playing right behind the forwards; he supports the offense by providing passes to forwards to set up goals.
attacking teamthe team that has possession of the ball.
aysoamerican youth soccer organization — an administrative body of youth soccer which sets rules and provides information and equipment to youth league referees, coaches and players.
back tacklean attempt by a defender to take the ball away from a ball carrier by swinging the defender`s leg in front of the ball from behind.
ball carriera player that has possession of the ball.
behind the defenderthe area between a defender and his goal.
bicycle kickwhen a player kicks the ball in mid-air backwards and over his own head, usually making contact above waist level; an acrobatic shot.
center spota small circular mark inside the center circle that denotes the center of the field from which kickoffs are taken to start or restart the game.
central defendera player who guards the area directly in front of his own goal in a zone defense; does not exist in a man-to-man defense.
chest trapwhen a player uses his chest to slow down and control a ball in the air.
cleatsthe metal, plastic or rubber points in the bottom of a soccer shoe used to provide a player with traction; term also used to refer to the shoes themselves.
concacafthe confederation norte-centroamericana y del caribe de footbal — the regional organization of north american and central american soccer under which world cup qualifying matches are played; member countries include the u.s., canada, mexico, and central american and caribbean countries.
consolation matcha tournament game played between the losers of the 2 semifinal matches to determine the third-place team.
corner arca quarter-circle with a radius of 1 yard located at each of the 4 corners of the field; on a corner kick, the ball must be kicked from inside this arc.
corner areasee corner arc.
corner flagthe flag located at each of the 4 corners of the field, inside the corner area.
counterattackan attack launched by a defending team soon after it regains possession of the ball.
creating spacewhen a player from the attacking team moves without the ball to draw defenders away from the ball carrier and give him space.
cross or crossing passa pass from an attacking player near the sideline to a teammate in the middle or opposite side of the field; used to give the teammate a good scoring opportunity.
cut down the anglewhen the goalie comes out of the goal several feet to make himself closer and larger to an attacker, leaving the attacker less net to shoot at.
cut offwhen a defensive player keeps his body between an attacker and the defender`s goal, forcing the attacker out towards the sidelines.
dangerous playwhen a player attempts a play that the referee considers dangerous to that player or others, such as trying to kick the ball out of the goalie`s hands, even if no contact is made.
defendersthe players on the team that does not have possession of the ball.
defending teamthe team that does not have possession of the ball.
direct free kicka kick awarded to a player for a serious foul committed by the opposition; the player kicks a stationary ball with no opposing players within 10 yards of him; a goal can be scored directly from this kick without the ball touching another player.
dribblera player who advances the ball while controlling it with his feet.
dribblingthe basic skill of advancing the ball with the feet while controlling it.
endlinesee goal line.
english football associationan association of english soccer teams founded in 1863 to set soccer rules.
european cupthe championship tournament played between europe`s top national teams.
fake or feinta move by a player meant to deceive an opposing player; used by a ball carrier to make a defender think the ball carrier is going to dribble, pass or shoot in a certain direction when he is not.
fifa world cupa solid gold statue given to the champion of each world cup tournament to keep for the next 4 years.
flick headera player`s use of his head to deflect the ball.
foot trapa player`s use of his foot to control a rolling or low-bouncing ball.
forward linethe 3 or 4 forwards who work together to try and score goals; consists of two wingers and 1 or 2 strikers.
forward pass1) a pass made towards the opposition`s goal.
2) прямой расчет (метод вычисления сроков свершения события, начала или окончания работы с заданной точки сетевого графика в направлении конечного события)
free kicka kick awarded to a player for a foul committed by the opposition; the player kicks a stationary ball without any opposing players within 10 yards of him.
front headerthe striking of a ball in the air by a player`s forehead; the most common type of header.
front tacklean attempt by a defender to kick the ball away from an attacker by approaching him from a head-on position.
goal areathe rectangular area 20 yards wide by 6 yards deep in front of each goal from which all goal kicks are taken; inside this area, it is illegal for opposing players to charge a goalie not holding the ball.
goal linethe field boundary running along its width at each end; also called the end line; runs right across the front of the goal; the line which a ball must completely cross for a goal to be scored.
goalmouththe front opening to each goal.
hackingkicking an opponent`s legs.
halfbacksee midfielder.
halftimethe intermission between the 2 periods or halves of a game.
halvessee periods.
hat trick3 or more goals scored in a game by a single player.
ifabinternational football association board — the organization consisting of 4 british soccer organizations and fifa that approves all changes in the official international rules of soccer called the 17 laws.
in boundswhen a ball is within the boundaries of the field, having not completely crossed a sideline or goal line.
in playwhen a ball is within the boundaries of the field and play has not been stopped by the referee.
indirect free kicka kick awarded to a player for a less-serious foul committed by the opposition; the player kicks a stationary ball without any opposing players within 10 yards of him; a goal can only be scored on this kick after the ball has touched another player.
injury timetime added to the end of any period according to the referee`s judgment of time lost due to player injuries or intentional stalling by a team.
instep drivea straight shot taken with the instep of a player`s foot; usually the most powerful and accurate of shots.
jugglingkeeping a ball in the air with any part of the body besides the hands or arms; used for practice and developing coordination.
jules rimet trophythe trophy given to the world cup winner between 1930 and 1970, after which it was permanently retired.
kickoffthe method of starting a game or restarting it after each goal; a player passes the ball forward to a teammate from the center spot.
laws of the gamethe 17 main rules for soccer established by fifa.
lead passa pass sent ahead of a moving teammate to arrive at a location at the same time he does.
man-to-mana type of defense where each defender is assigned to mark a different forward from the other team; the most common type of defense for national-level teams.
midfieldthe region of the field near the midfield line; the area controlled by the midfielders.
midfield anchorsee defensive midfielder.
midfield line or center linea line that divides the field in half along its width.
midfieldersthe 2, 3 or 4 players who link together the offensive and defensive functions of a team; they play behind their forwards.
naslnorth american soccer league — an outdoor league formed in the u.s. in 1967 that attracted great international players including pele and huge audiences to the u.s. in the 1970s; folded in 1985.
near postthe goalpost closest to the ball.
npslnational professional soccer league — a u.s. indoor league that plays its games in a modified hockey rink, much like the former misl; plays by non-traditional rules to create a faster-paced, higher-scoring game; also, a different league by the same name that played in the 1960s, merging with another league to form the nasl.
offensive playersee attacker.
official game clockthe clock that the referee carries with him on the field so he can signal when each half is over; does not stop during the game, even when play does.
officialsthe referee and 2 linesmen who work together to make sure the game is played according to the rules of soccer; responsible for stopping and restarting play, keeping track of the score and the time remaining and citing violations of the rules, called fouls; they wear uniforms that distinguish them from the players on both teams.
on defensedescribes a team that does not have possession of the ball.
on offensedescribes a team in possession of the ball.
on-sidethe opposite of offside.
out of playwhen a ball is outside the boundaries of the field or play has been stopped by the referee.
penalty arca circular arc whose center is the penalty spot and extends from the top of the penalty area; designates an area that opposing players are not allowed to enter prior to a penalty kick.
penalty areaa rectangular area 44 yards wide by 18 yards deep with its long edge on the goal line; the goalkeeper may use his hands to block or control the ball only within this area.
penalty kicksee penalty shot.
penalty spotthe small circular spot located 12 yards in front of the center of the goal line from which all penalty kicks are taken; positioned at the center of the penalty arc.
periodsthe segments of time into which a game is divided; a regulation game played by adults consists of two 45-minutes halves.
play ona term used by referees to indicate that no foul or stoppage is to be called; used by referees when applying the advantage rule.
playoffa tournament that takes place after a season`s schedule has been completed; used to determine a champion.
professional foula foul committed intentionally, usually by a defender on an attacker just outside the defender`s penalty area; used to prevent a scoring opportunity without incurring a penalty shot.
push passwhen a player pushes the ball with the inside of his foot to a teammate.
qualifying matchesgames played in the 2 years preceding the world cup to determine which teams participate in the tournament.
red carda playing card-sized card that a referee holds up to signal a player`s removal from the game; the player`s team must play the rest of the game shorthanded; presented for violent behavior or multiple rule infractions (two yellow cards = one red card).
regular seasonthe schedule of games set before the season; consists of all games played before a playoff or tournament is held.
regulation gametwo completed periods of a game, prior to any overtime or tiebreaker.
scorersplayers who score goals.
scoring opportunitya situation where a team stands a good chance of scoring a goal.
shoulder chargeminimal shoulder-to-shoulder contact by a defender against a ball carrier; the only contact allowed by the rules unless a defender touches the ball first.
sideline or touchlinea line that runs along the length of the field on each side.
single eliminationa type of tournament where a single loss eliminates a team from the tournament.
sliding tacklean attempt by a defender to take the ball away from a ball carrier by sliding on the ground feet-first into the ball.
small-sided gamea match played with fewer than 11 players per side.
sweeperthe defender that plays closest to his own goal behind the rest of the defenders; a team`s last line of defense in front of the goalkeeper.
tacklingthe act of taking the ball away from a player by kicking or stopping it with one`s feet; only a minimal amount of shoulder-to-shoulder contact, called a charge, is permitted to knock the ball carrier off balance.
thigh trapwhen a player uses his thigh to slow down and control a ball in the air.
through passa pass sent to a teammate to get him the ball behind his defender; used to penetrate a line of defenders.
tie gamewhen two teams have scored the same number of goals in a match; if the game ends tied, it is a draw.
tiebreakera way to choose the winner of a match when teams are tied after overtime; in fifa tournament play, a series of penalty kicks are taken by players from both teams, and the team that scores on more of them is declared the winner.
timeoutan official break in the action of a sport; the rules of soccer do not allow for any timeouts; timeouts for television advertising breaks are permitted by ncaa collegiate rules.
two-way midfielderthe versatile midfielder most responsible for organizing play in the midfield area; often a team`s energetic leader.
ussfunited states soccer federation — organization formed in 1913 to govern soccer in america; america`s link to fifa, providing soccer rules and guidelines to players, referees and spectators nationwide.
wall passa pass by a ball carrier who sends the ball to a teammate, then runs behind his own defender and quickly receives a pass back; used to get a player past his defender without having to dribble by him; same as the "give-and-go" in basketball.
yellow carda playing card-sized card that a referee holds up to warn a player for dangerous or unsportsmanlike behavior; also called a caution; 2 yellow cards in one game earns a player an automatic red card, signaling his removal from the game.