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Soccer Team Glossary

Soccer Glossary

1st Attacker: The player that has possession of the ball.

2nd Attacker: The player or players in immediate support of the 1st attacker.

3rd Attacker: The player or players further away from the ball responsible for unbalancing the defense.

Breakaway: The situation in a match when an attacker penetrates the defense and is 1 vs. 1 with the goalkeeper.

Ball Watching: The tendency of inexperienced players to concentrate on the activity in and around the ball as they overlook their responsibilities.

Blind Side: The side of play opposite of where the play is. This is also known as “weak side.”

When a defender attempts to win the ball from an attacker.

Chip: A lofted pass or shot.

Coervers: A method of developing skill with the ball.

Counterattack: When the defending team wins the ball and moves onto attack.

Cover: Defensive support. When the 1st defender pressures the ball, his teammates provide support from behind. This is the role of the 2nd defender(s).

Crossing: When the ball comes across the field from the sidelines (flank) toward the goal. This is also known as “service.”

Combination Play:
An attacking play where 2 or more attackers work in tandem to penetrate a defense. See: Give and go, Overlap, or takeover.

Defenders: The players that play closest to the goal they are defending. They are mostly responsible for defensive, but they are attackers also.

1st Defender: The player nearest to the 1st attacker responsible for winning the ball back if possible. If not, they must delay the attack and look to make the attack predictable by forcing the 1st attacker in one direction. Note: the angle and distance the 1st defender pressures the ball relates to how every other defender must play.

2nd Defender(s):
The player or players that provide support or cover for the 1st defender.

3rd Defender(s): The players remaining on defense. They are responsible for balancing the defensive shape.

Depth: A principle of both attack and defense. On offense it refers to support both in advance and behind the ball. On defense it refers to having players in position behind the ball.

Direct Kick: A free kick that can be scored directly from the spot of the kick.

Dribble: A technique that allows a player to move the ball on the ground using various surfaces of both feet.

End lines: The lines at each end of the field.

Far Post: The goal post furthest from the ball.

Finishing: A technique that completes an attack with a goal using any legal part of the body.

First Time Ball: A ball that is played without using a receiving touch. This is also known as a one-touch.

Fitness: One of the four components of the game. This relates directly to all the physical elements of the game.

Forwards: The players who play closest to the goal they are attacking.

Free Kick: A direct or indirect kick awarded to a team whose opponents have committed a foul.

Full Volley: A technique of striking a ball when it is in the air.

Give-and-Go Pass: A simple combination play where an attacking player passes to a teammate and then sprints
past his defenders into open space to receive a return pass. This is also known as a wall pass or a one-two.

The player who plays closest to the goal his team is defending. The keeper is the only player on
the field that can use his hands. He is only allowed to use his hands in the penalty box.

Goal Kick: A kick awarded to the defending team when the attackers advance the ball over the end line.

Goal lines: The lines at each end of the field, specifically between the goalposts. These are also known as “end

Goal side: A defensive term that refers to having players nearer to the defending goal side related to where the
ball is.

Half-Volley: Striking a ball when it is in the air just after it has bounced off the ground.

Indirect Kick: A free kick in which another player must touch the ball before a goal is allowed.

Instep: The part of the foot where the shoes are laced.

Jockeying: A technique used by defenders to limit the movement of the attacker with the ball by forcing him to
one side or the other.

Juggling: A technique used to teach ball control and develop a player’s touch. This is performed by using
different surfaces of the body to keep the ball in the air without hitting the ground.

Man-To-Man Defense: A system of defense in which each player is assigned a specific opposing player to
cover or mark.

Marking: Covering an opponent.

Midfielders: The players in the middle of the field who form the link between the defenders and the forwards
both offensively and defensively.

Near Post: The goal post nearest to the ball.

Off-the-Ball Movement: Movement of players who are not in possession of the ball. This is also known as
mobility. This movement is done to unbalance the defense and creates penetration.

Offside: When an attacker is positioned on his opponent’s half of the field with less than two defenders
(including the goalkeeper) between him and the end line at the moment the ball is passed.

Offside Trap: A tactic used when defenders move away from their goal to force an attacker into an offside

One-Touch: A technique of passing or shooting the ball without receiving it first.

Overlap: A simple combination-play where a 2nd attacker runs from a position behind the 1st attacker to a
position in front of him to receive a pass.

Penalty Arc: An arc that adjoins the penalty area, and encloses the area within ten yards from the penalty spot;
it does not form part of the penalty area and is only of relevance during the taking of a penalty kick.

Penalty Area: The 18x44 yard box in front the goal at both ends of the field. This is the only area where the
goalkeeper may use his hands. When a major foul is committed in the penalty area a penalty kick is awarded.

Penalty Kick: When a major foul is committed in the penalty area this is awarded. The kick is taken 12 yards
from the goal and every other player, besides the kicker and the goalkeeper, must be outside the penalty area
and the penalty arc when the kick is taken.

Penetration: One of the principles of attack that refers to getting players and the ball behind the defense to
ultimately result in a scoring opportunity.

One of the four components of the game. This relates directly to all the mental aspects of the

System of Play:
Refers to the deployment of players on the field. For example, a “4-4-2” is 4 defenders, 4
midfielders, and 2 forwards.

Shape: A term used to describe the relative positions of the players either offensively or defensively.

Shielding: A technique where the 1st attacker with the ball positions his body between the ball and his defender
in order to maintain possession.

Sidelines: The lines of play on each side of the field. This is also known as the touchlines because when the ball
completely crosses these lines the players may touch the ball with their hands to restart play with a throw-in.

Striker: The forwards who play toward the middle and final thirds of the field, usually the players with the
primary responsibility for scoring.

Sweeper: A back player positioned behind the rest of the defense who is responsible for providing support,
balance, and communication to the rest of the defense.

Tackling: A defensive technique of using the foot to win the ball from an attacker.

Tactics: One of the four components of the game. This relates directly to any decisions a player makes on the
field with or without the ball.

Technique: One of the four components of the game. This relates directly to all skills and a player’s
relationship to the ball.

Through Pass: A ball delivered through a gap in the defense to another attacker.

Throw-in: A throw using both hands lofted from behind the head and with both feet touching the ground on
release. This is done after the opposing team kicks the ball out of bounds.

Touchlines: See sidelines.

Two Touch: A technique of taking one touch to receive the ball plus another touch to pass or shoot the ball.

Volley: A technique of striking the ball, generally with the instep. See also half/full volley.

Width: One of the principles of attack that refers to having support on either side of the ball. This results in a
stretched defense that is penetrated more easily.

Wing: The sides of the field. This is also known as the flanks.

Zone Defense: A system of defense where each player is assigned a specific area of the field to defend.

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