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Soccer Terms

Advantage— A decision by the referee to disregard a foul by the defensive team if a stoppage in play would benefit the team that committed the violation. This allows the team on offense to maintain its playing advantage.

Beat—To get the ball through or around an opponent by dribbling or shooting.

Breakaway—Occurs when an attacker with the ball makes it past the defense and is on his way toward the goal for a on-on-one showdown with the goalkeeper.

Clearing—Happens when a team kicks the ball out of its defensive zone, ending an offensive threat by the opposing team.

Center/Cross—A kick made near the sideline toward the middle of the field. On a corner kick, the ball must be kicked from inside this arch.

Chip—A passing or shooting technique which enables a player to kick the ball with the feet while controlling it.

Dribble—The basic skill of advancing the ball with the feet while controlling it.

Drop Ball—A method used by the referee to restart the game after a temporary suspension of play not specifically covered in the rules. The ball is dropped between two players and may only be played once it has touched the ground.

Hat trick—Three or more goals scored in a game by a single player.

Half-volley—A kick of the ball just as it is rebounding off the ground.

Header—The striking of a ball in the air by a player's head.

Juggling—Keeping the ball in the air with any part of the body besides the hands and arms. Used for practice and developing coordination.

Marking—Closely defending a player to prevent him from receiving the ball or advancing the ball by dribbling or passing.

Penalty area—A 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.

Receiving (formerly referred to as ""trapping)—When a player uses his body to slow down and control a moving ball. Most often this is done using the chest, thighs or feet.

Slide Tackle—An attempt by a defender to take the ball away from a ball carrier by sliding on the ground feet first into the ball.

Tackle—A move to take the ball away from an opponent when both players are playing the ball with their feet.

Throw in—When a player throws the ball from behind his head with two hands while standing with both feet on the ground behind a sideline. This takes place when the ball is sent out of bounds and the opposing team throws it back into play.

Volley—A kick that is made without the ball touching the ground.

Wall—A tactical maneuver in which players stand as a line or wall to protect the goal against a free kick.