Know your soccer terms

Jacob Summerville, Staff Reporter

While sports can include numerous technical terms, any spectator can keep up with the game by knowing the terms.


Forwards – Players in the attacking third of the field. A forward is primarily responsible for scoring.

Defenders – Players in the defensive third of the field. Their most important function is to stop the opponent from scoring.

Midfielder – Players in the middle third of the field. A midfielder’s task is to connect the defense and offense through passing and dribbling the ball.

Dribbling – Having possession of the ball through small taps with the feet.




Sweeper – A defender who serves as the last line of defense before the goalkeeper.

Goalkeeper – The player responsible for stopping shots from the opponent from going past the goal line. This player can also use their arms and hands to touch the ball, but only within the penalty area.

Penalty area – An 18×44-yard area in front of the goal.

Penalty arc – Located directly above the penalty area in-bounds, this arc designates how far back other players must stay while a penalty kick is in play.

Center Spot – The center of the field where kickoffs occur to start the game.

Save – An action taken by a goalkeeper to stop a ball heading towards the goal.

Header – Passing or shooting the ball with the head.

Slide Tackle – A motion where a player slides towards the ball in hopes of knocking the ball from the possession of the opponent. A slide tackle is only considered a foul if the sliding player hits the dribbling player before the ball.

Yellow Card – A card shown by the referee to a player that implies a punitive message. This action is also known as a caution.

Red Card – If this card is shown to a player, they are ejected from the game regardless if the situation was a first-time or second-time offense. The ejected player cannot be substituted by a player on the bench for the rest of the match.

Penalty Kick – Resulting from a foul, the fouled player takes a kick 12 yards in from of the goal line.