Soccer: Glossary and Terms
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Center back - A soccer player that is the central defender. The center backs main job is on defense. Covering and marking players in the middle area of the field.
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Center forward - A soccer player whose main job is on offense. The center forward will usually be one of the main goal scorers.
Center midfielder - One of the most versatile soccer positions. The central midfielder is responsible for both offense and defense and is involved in almost every play.
Corner kick - A free kick from the corner of the field that is given to the offense or attacking team when a defending soccer player is the last player to touch the ball before it crossed the end line.
Direct free kick - a free kick where the kicker is allowed to score a goal.
Full back - a defensive soccer position.
Goalie - This is the only required soccer position per the rules. The goalie, or goalkeeper, is the only player allowed to touch the ball with their hands while in the goal box. The goalie is a defensive position.
Goal kick - A kick for the defending team when an offensive player was the last player to touch the soccer ball before it crossed the end line.
Indirect free kick - a free kick where the kicker is not allowed to score a goal. The ball must touch another player prior to scoring a goal.
Kick-off - a kick from the middle of the soccer field that starts play. This takes place at the start of the period of play or after a goal.
Marking - When a defender covers an offensive player without the soccer ball.
Offside - a penalty called when an attacking player is in front of the ball, but behind all teh defenders but one (usually the goalie). Click here to read more about the offide rule.
Pass and move - A strategy of offensive soccer. Means that players should always be moving and should be ready to pass or dribble the soccer ball as soon as they get it. Also, pass and move is a strategy where a player always moves to an open space as soon as they have passed the ball.
Penalty area - an area or box near the goal. Penalties in this area may result in a penalty kick.
Penalty kick - a type of free kick that is taken from twelve yards out from goal and with only the goalkeeper of the defending team between the kicker and the goal
Sweeper - A soccer player position. This player is a defender who roams the area behind the other defenders looking to "sweep up" any passes that get through.
Tackling - A defensive move that steals the ball, but does not contact the offensive player. Often resulting in the offensive player falling down.
Throw-in - A throw from the sidelines when the opposing team was the last to touch the soccer ball prior to the ball crossing over the side line.
Winger - A soccer player position. The job of the winger is primarily offense and is to pass the ball to strikers that are in scoring position.
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