5 Soccer Terms Every Parent Needs to Know

Posted on 
July 1, 2023

As a parent new to the world of soccer, it’s not uncommon to feel a bit overwhelmed by the unique terminology used in the game. While you may be familiar with the basics like “goal” “corner kick” and “pass,” there are several lesser-known terms that are worth adding to your soccer vocabulary. Understanding these terms will not only enhance your enjoyment of the game but also allow you to better support and engage with your child’s soccer journey.

What does “offside” mean?

Firstly, let’s talk about “offside.” This can be a bit confusing to understand but bear with us. This is a term used in soccer to prevent unfair advantages and promote fair play. It happens when an attacking player is closer to the opponent’s goal than both the ball and the last defender (not counting goalie) when a teammate passes the ball to them. When offside is called by the referee, it results in a free kick for the defending team. This rule encourages players to stay in a fair position and not get an unfair head start toward the goal. It adds an element of strategy and positioning to the game, making sure players are in the right place at the right time to make the game exciting and fair for everyone involved.

What is a “counterattack”?

Another important term to grasp is “counterattack.” This refers to a quick offensive play by the defending team immediately after gaining possession of the ball. During a counterattack, the team quickly transitions from defense to offense, using speed and precision to catch the opposing team off guard. Recognizing a counterattack can help you appreciate the swift and strategic nature of the game.

What is “nutmeg” in soccer?

Next, we have the “nutmeg” or “meg”. Picture this: a player swiftly passes or shoots the ball through the opponent’s legs. Known as a nutmeg, this skillful move not only retains possession but also creates an opportunity to score, leaving the defender out of the play.

What is an “overlap”?

Moving on, we have the “overlap.” This term describes an attacking move where a player from the defending team moves forward along the wing, overlapping a teammate who has the ball. The overlapping player provides support, creates passing options, and potentially crosses the ball into the penalty area. Recognizing the overlap can help you appreciate the teamwork and coordination involved in creating scoring opportunities.

What’s “pressing” in soccer?

Finally, let’s explore the concept of “pressing” or “press”. Pressing refers to a team’s concerted effort to put pressure on the opposing team when they are in possession of the ball, typically in their defensive half. The aim is to force mistakes, win back possession, or limit the opponent’s options for advancing the play. Understanding pressing will help you recognize the defensive intensity and strategic positioning of players during the game.

By familiarizing yourself with these lesser-known soccer terms, you’ll not only expand your understanding of the game but also become a more engaged and supportive soccer parent. So, the next time you’re cheering on your child from the sidelines, listen for these unique phrases. Embrace the lingo, enjoy the moments on the field, and be a knowledgeable and enthusiastic supporter of your child’s soccer journey.

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