MLS Explained: Seductive Soccer

MLS Soccer Final - MLS All-Stars vs Real Madrid

The MLS began in 1996 with 10 teams and will grow to 30 in 2022. The stadiums are the third-highest attended games in the US and it is the fastest-growing sport in the country. The MLS is able to attract the best names across the world with the designated player rule.

Major League Soccer began in 1996, this was two years after the USA hosted the 1994 World Cup Finals. The women’s league began a few years later in 2013 and they have been going from strength to strength.

With so many sports events that take place across America, there was doubt if soccer could take place in this sporting nation. It has proved itself by becoming the fifth biggest sport in the States from TV viewing, and the fourth most played sport.

Forbes has predicted that soccer will become the third most favorite spectator sport – showing the ever-increasing growth of the global game. The highest attended games are at a whopping 69,301 for Atlanta United FC. The MLS is the third-highest attended sporting events in the US.

What’s the meaning of MLS?

MLS is the soccer association in the USA and stands for Major League Soccer.

This article will explain all you need to know about the MLS to have a great understanding of how it all works.

MLS Explained – Rules

Here is a breakdown of the MLS rules for you to know the game;

  • 17 games at home and away
  • Clubs play 10 non-conference sides
  • Top 7 from East and West qualify
  • 18 players for each game roster
  • 45 minutes played per half = 90
  • Added stoppage minutes added to the end of the half
  • Collage breaks added if temperature 82 Fahrenheit plus
  • Playing field 70 yards wide by 110 yards long
  • 1 yellow card = caution – 2 x yellow card = sent off
  • 5 games without a yellow/red card = minus 1 yellow card (3)
  • 5 yellow cards = suspension
  • 1 red card = suspension (length depends on type)
  • League tie-break based on 1. Number of wins 2. Goal difference 3. Goals for 4. Fewest disciplinary points

MLS Season

The soccer season for the MLS begins in February or March and finishes off in November with the climax of the MLS Playoffs. When East meets West, to decide the countries best soccer team. The start date is varied due to the Football associations schedule with other competitions when the players will be occupied, for World Cup qualifiers and the Gold Cup.

There is a mid-season break where the All-Stars are in action. The players are selected from a selection of votes from the fans, manager and league commissioner. All players are selected from the MLS league, no matter the nation and are placed against a different international side each year.

The All-Stars have been playing since the introduction of the league and have faced tough competition over the years, but have been equal to the challenge. Whilst the European teams are on their offseason, they have met the most times, with top teams such as Manchester United, Real Madrid and Bayer Munich.

MLS All-Stars Results

YearHomeScoreAway
2009MLS All-Stars1-1Everton
2010MLS All-Stars2-5Manchester United
2011MLS All-Stars0-4Manchester United
2012MLS All-Stars3-2Chelsea
2013MLS All-Stars1-3Roma
2014MLS All-Stars2-1Bayern Munich
2015MLS All-Stars2-1Tottenham Hostspur
2016MLS All-Stars1-2Arsenal
2017MLS All-Stars1-1Real Madrid
2018MLS All-Stars1-1Juventus
2019MLS All-Stars0-3Athletico Madrid

MLS Ownership

Unlike most of the leagues around the world, the players are in contract with the clubs and the clubs are financially independent of the league. The MLS players signs contracts with the league itself and not the team.

The clubs are a franchise and the estimated cost of a club rose on average from $34 million in 2008 to $103 million according to Forbes. The club valuations by Forbes estimates in 2019 the highest club valuation Atlanta United at $500 million and the lowest valuation to be Colorado Rapids at $190 million.

MLS Operating profits per team 2019
MLS Franchise Operating Profits/Losses – Statista

The entrance fee for a franchise in the MLS for the 28th and 29th team is $200 million and the 30th team will pay $325 million. Although in the graph below, most teams are not making a profit, the league is growing and with the inclusion of further teams, it is likely to bolster the profits.

MLS Players

Each MLS team is allowed up to 30 players in their roster, with the use of 18 on a game day, 11 substitutes and 7 on the bench. The top 20 players are on the senior roster, allowing for an additional 10 players in the reserve/youth team.

MLS Salary Cap

The teams in MLS have a budget for the salary of 20 players in each team. The current budget in 2020 is $4.9 million. The maximum salary for a single player is $612,500. The money that is spent on the other 10 players outside of the roster of 20 is not included in the salary budget.

Minimum salary for MLS players in slots 21-30;

A full list of all the player’s salaries is available to view from the MLS here.

  • Players 21-24 $81,375
  • Players 25-28 $63,547
  • Players 29-30 $63,547 – Homegrown players only
2011_MLS_Cup_Final
MLS Cup Final 2011 – LA Galaxy vs Houston Dynamo – Courtesy of Wikimedia

Designated Player Rule

The Designated Player rule is also known as the Beckham Rule was introduced in 2007. This allows for teams to compete in the international transfer market, so they are able to attract players from around the world by offering higher salaries that compete with the international market.

Teams can use the extra allocated money to spend on up to $4.9 million on 3 players. The three players are from the chosen from the requirements below;

  • U.S.A Men’s National Team players.
  • U.S.A Youth National Team players.
  • Players transferred for $500,000 from outside of the MLS

So although the fund is $4.9 million, David Beckham was paid $6.5 million for a season. The total money was gathered together using DP, TAM, and GAM.

Targetted Allocated Money – TAM

Each club in the league is given money each season for bringing in new players or keeping their current ones. The money has increased over the last few years, allowing clubs to trade more freely. In 2016 they were given $100,000 per team and that has increased to $2,800,000 for 2019.

MLS Transfer View

MLS Logo
MLS Logo – Courtesy of Wikimedia

The teams are allowed to trade the allocations for money which is given to the rest of the teams, making for a fairer league. The system on a whole allows for clubs who finish bottom of the league one year to possibly win it the following year with smart trading.

Although the system, in theory, is beneficial for the league and a competitive one, there are so many rules in place that it is difficult for the fans to understand what is what. The system is something that is only fully understood by lawyers, but it is a fans game and should be simplified for easy understanding and transfer debates.

MLS Transfer Window

Player transfers can be arranged prior to the set dates, although the completion must take place during the transfer windows. Each year the dates are roughly the same, but with slight variation for weekends and vacations. For 2020 the transfer window is;

  • February 12th to May 5th
  • July 7th to August 5th

MLS Teams

As of 2020, there are 26 MLS team, 13 on the east and 13 on the west of the US. From 2022 there will be 30 competing teams. The new clubs that will be joining the league are;

  • 2021 Austin FC + Charlotte
  • 2022 Sacramento Republic FC + St. Louis

The teams from the East and West that make the complete league of the MLS are;

TeamCapacityJoined
Atlanta United FC42,5002017
Chicago Fire FC24,9951998
FC Cincinnati32,2502019
Columbus Crew SC19,9681996
D.C. United20,0001996
Inter Miami CF18,0002020
Montreal Impact19,6192012
Nashville SC69,1432020
New England Revolution20,0001996
New York City FC30,3212015
New York Red Bulls25,0001996
Orlando City SC25,5002015
Philadelphia Union18,5002010
Toronto FC28,3512007
Team CapacityJoined
Colorado Rapids18,0611996
FC Dallas20,5001996
Houston Dynamo22,0392006
LA Galaxy27,0001996
Los Angeles FC22,0002018
Minnesota United FC19,4002017
Portland Timbers25,2182011
Real Salt Lake20,2132005
San Jose Earthquakes18,0001996
Seattle Sounders FC37,7222009
Sporting Kansas City18,4671996
Vancouver Whitecaps FC22,1202011

There are 50 States across the US and in a couple of years nearly half of them will have a soccer team and this is from only 10 in 1996. So the progression of the league is growing rapidly.

Here is a map of the position of the teams across the States;

MLS Teams Map_of_USA_and_Canada
MLS Teams Map_of_USA_and_Canada

MLS Playoffs

The MLS playoffs are like no other around the world. Most leagues decide the winner of the season by the team that finishes the highest in the league. With the MLS format, it gives all teams a chance and a target for the season.

Some may think it is unfair that the table toppers don’t win the league, but it keeps the excitement going. New to the system is giving the league winners a bye to the next round which allows for a break to reserve their energy.

MLS Playoff Rules

  • Round One
  • First place has a bye
  • Positions 2 vs. 7 – 3 vs, 6 – 4 vs. 5
  • 90 minutes + 2 x 15 minutes if level + Penalties if level
  • Semi-Finals
  • 2 games – home and away
  • Position 1 vs. game 4 vs. 5
  • Position game 3 vs. 6 plays 2 vs. 7
  • 90 minutes + 2 x 15 minutes if level + Penalties if level
  • Conference Finals
  • 1 game playoff
  • Higher seed vs. lower seed
  • 90 minutes + 2 x 15 minutes if level + Penalties if level
  • MLS Cup
  • Hosted by the team with most league points
  • If points are level decide from 1. Number of wins 2. Goal difference 3. Goals for 4. Fewest disciplinary points
  • 90 minutes + 2 x 15 minutes if level + Penalties if level
MLS_Cup_Playoff_History Winners and Teams - 2015
MLS Cup Play-off Records from 1996 to 2015

There we have it, the MLS explained. The MLS is only growing in the States and continues to do that with the newly added teams each year. The transfer system is evolving to attract the best players from around the world, so much so it is becoming one of the best leagues in the world. For more useful guides, see the articles below or visit our home page.

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How Do Soccer Leagues Work? Competition Overview

Soccer leagues hold scores for the teams throughout the season. Points are awarded to teams for winning, 3 and for drawing, 1. At the end of the season, the league position determines if they are champions, competition qualifiers or relegated.

Soccer teams in leagues normally play each other over the course of the season twice, home and away. If the league is only small they will play three, or even four games against each other.

This is a brief overview of soccer leagues, but they don’t all work like that. There are different systems across the world and they again differ in cup competitions and for leagues that are not the tops ones.

Knowing how the leagues’ work creates a better atmosphere, the game has added intensity when there is something on the line.

A win gives the team 3 points and a draw gives each team 1 point for a league match, but during a knock-out stage, the aggregate score over two games is what matters.

Divisions

A season is played over the space of a year and the games determine what position of the league the team is in. To keep the leagues refreshed and open for other teams to compete, teams are promoted and relegated.

There is only one winner of a league, and sometimes three teams are relegated into the league below for the following season – this enables three new teams to be promoted. For a cup competition, there are not teams relegated, if they end up at the bottom of the league or near there, they are put out of the competition,

Fixtures

The fixtures of who plays who is decided before the start of the season, so the teams can prepare. The season is split into two, and a team will play half of their games at home and a half away.

Fixtures for cup games and competitions are not decided until the competing teams are decided. The draws normally take place a month or two before the games are due to begin.

MLS Soccer Final - MLS All-Stars vs Real Madrid
MLS Soccer Final – MLS All-Stars vs Real Madrid (U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Anthony L. Taylor/Released)

Major League Soccer

The MLS has 26 competing teams and is set to increase to 30 in 2020. During a season, the leagues are split into two, the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. Due to the travelling distance between the two areas, they don’t compete until the end of the season if they reach the playoffs.

MLS Cup

Seven teams from each conference division will reach the cup playoffs to try and win the MLS Cup. Those teams are at the top of the table based on points and if level, wins, goal difference, then total goals scored.

The two top teams are not required to play the first eliminator game, so they are given a bye and wait for the next round. There is only one match per tie played until the semi-final and those matches are played at the home of the highest-seeded team. The final is contested between the winners of the semi-finals in a one-game match hosted at the highest seeded team’s stadium.

Relegation

Unlike the majority of leagues around the world, MLS does not have a relegation system in place. This is because the league is a franchise with a set amount of teams competing. This allows for all teams to compete next season but it loses some of the magic for a battle to stay up.

Do different soccer leagues play each other?

Only for a pre-season friendly or if they are drawn against each other in a cup game.

Premier League

The premier league format is similar to most others around the world. During a season each team plays each other team twice, home and away. The team with the most points at the end of the season, at the top of the table is the winner of the league.

The EPL consists of 20 teams and each team plays a total of 38 games.

Relegations and Promotions

After all the games are played, the bottom three teams will be relegated into the Championship, which is the 2nd tiered league. Two teams from the Championship will be promoted automatically to the Premier League leaving one place to be decided in playoffs between four teams.

Champions League

The Champions League begins with leagues with four teams in each. The leagues are decided with a seeding system. This is to make sure there is an even distribution of the best teams amongst the leagues.

Each team plays each other home and away, and after six games the winner of the group progresses to play the runner up of another team from a different league. These next games are the knockout stages of the competition and after playing home and away, the winner is decided on the team who scores the most goals on aggregate over two matches – with more weight added to the team that scores more away from home.

World Cup

The World Cup works the same way as the Champions League. Teams in divisions of four with the top two teams progressing to the next stage. There is, of course, no relegation, just an exit from the competition fo the two lowest placed teams.

The two progressing teams will face teams from another league in the playoff rounds. The first-placed team will face a second-placed team from another division winner. These games are played over 90 minutes with extra time of 30 minutes played if the scoreline is still level. Then onto a penalty shootout if there is still no decider after the added time. For more useful guides, see the articles below or visit our home page.

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How to get better at soccer defense: Battle Hard

Defending in soccer

Know your duties in defense, stay goal-side of the attacker, put your body on the line, and be brave. Get better by improving your fitness, strength, speed, and timing.

Follow this guide to know what your duties are as a defender. Each position has different roles to play. As a defender, your first duty is to defend the goal and when you get a chance to support the attack as a wide defender.

Take part in the soccer drill below to test yourself in the toughest situations like the pros. Practice as much as you can and with good quality players to push on your game.

An online soccer course could be just what you’re looking for, see all of the skills you can learn at Coerver, their packages are awesome, they have coaching for every type of player, click here.

soccer field infographic
Soccer field Info-graphic

Qualities of a good soccer defender

A good defender must be strong, aggressive, brave, and a team player. It takes great determination to be a great defender, a willing nature to get to the ball first. You can be tall and small whilst being strong in challenges and able to work as a unit.

Some soccer players are naturally good at defending – if you don’t like to get beat then that could be you. If blocking a shot on goal is like a goal being scored for you then you have the mindset of a great defender.

Along with the mental attributes, the physical aspects play a part. If you want to play center back then it best to be 6 feet or more. For a full-back, you can be tall or short, but most of the are short because they have the legs to accelerate up and down the field.

Some of the best defenders are willing to put their bodies on the line, literally! Players will do anything to score, so you do all you can to stop them, even if that means diving into a crowd of players when stud might catch your face.

1 v 1 Defending Technique

When defending 1 v 1 you must keep between the attacker and your goal. Be close enough to block a shot, but not so close that the attacker can get past you. Be on the lookout for other dangers as the play changes.

You need to angle your body so that you protect the danger zone. This way you can lead the attacker away from where they want to go. Keep an eye on the player and the ball and when the attacker looks up, you have a chance to poke the ball away.

The distance away from the attacker will depend on your speed and their speed. If they are lightning-quick, keep 2 yards away and reduce that to 1 if you have a better pace than them. It is important that you are good at sprinting in bursts. A player may be slower in a sprint race, but they might have the acceleration to get a couple of yards in front of you so that they can take a shot.

Some players go to ground in a slide tackle, but make sure that you have a 99% chance of getting the ball if nobody is covering behind you. The last thing you want to do if leave them one on one with the goalkeeper or with more players than the defenders.

Soccer Defense Drills

Defensive drills are to test the players in situations that occur during a game. Having fewer defenders than attackers really put the pressure on the backline.

Practice 20-yard sprints and they are the most used distances when running. Below is the most common type of soccer drill that you can practice your defending. The numbers can range from 2 v 3, 1 v 2, 3 v 4 and so on.

This drill is used by all professional clubs – it replicates the hardest of situations in a game. If you can defend with one less player than the attackers, then you can do it against an even number of them.

The defenders’ job is to clear the ball and the attackers to score. This drill is fun for both the attackers and defenders.

3 on 2 drill scaled
3 v 2 Soccer Drill

Soccer Defense Positions

The types of positions that you can play as a defender are, center back, full back, wing back, sweeper, and defensive midfield.

Center Back

A key part of the defensive unit, the center back operates in front of the goalkeeper. They are the last inline before the goal. They act a 2 in a 4-4-2 formation or as a 3 in a 5-3-2 formation. Normally 6 feet plus, they are good at heading and strong in a challenge.

Full Back

Full backs play at either side of the center backs in a typical 4 four at the back. In Italy, they operate defensively but in Spain, they are used for an overlap to provide an extra player in attack. You can be of any height but you must be quick! Some of the trickiest players you face are wingers, so you must be on your toes. Full backs are most likely to slide tackle the ball out of play.

Wing Back

A typical wing back plays as part of a back 5. With three in the center of defense, they have fewer responsibilities when defending. They are good all-round players as they have many duties to cover along the flank of the field. The attributes required are crossing and stamina.

Sweeper

A sweeper is not often used because of the problems with offside, as they are the last player. They are normally used with five at the back and the central one is the sweeper. They clear a danger that comes the way of the goal. It is a responsible position because they organize the defense and protect the keeper.

Defensive Midfield

Some defensive midfielder play up and down the field. There is some that drop back when your team has possession. Guardiola uses this system, to allow the full-backs to advance forward leaving the two center backs and defensive midfielders to protect the goal. This position requires strength, stamina, and attention.

Soccer Defense Players

Here is a selection of some of the best defenders in the world. Watch their qualities to learn how they do it. They are all very different, but effective at shutting out the strikers.

Sergio Ramos

Virgil Van Dijk

Marcelo

Knowledge of your all-around game will improve your game in defense – if you know what the striker will do, you’ll know what’s coming. For more useful guides, see the articles below or visit our home page.

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Why am I not getting better at soccer: Sure Guide

Playing soccer - practice on the beach

The reason that you might not be getting better at soccer is that you have the wrong training methods, are not learning the right way, your dedication is lacking or your practice is not preparing you.

Soccer takes a number of years to improve if you have limited practice, few games, the facilities, or the desire. All of these factors will stop you from getting better.

Soccer is a tough game and depending on your age, the development period can vary depending on how often you play. The more you practice and play, the better you will become. In your free time, you could be reading more articles or watching videos for tips.

It is possible that you have gotten better but you don’t realize it. Sometimes when we practice something that takes a while to improve at, it is only other people that notice when we get better.

Read through the possible problems and solutions in this article. A few tweaks in your routine and practice could make the world of a difference. Now that you are looking to improve by reading this article, it shows that you have the desire to up your game.

Methods

If your game is not getting better, it could be simply that you are sticking to the same methods of play that you are used to. To improve your game you need to adapt and evolve your methods.

Training; When you are training, do you do the same routines in practice? If so you need to mix-up the sessions with some different drills. A variation in drills will help your all-round game and it makes it fun.

Playing; This can make all the difference, do you continue to use the same techniques? Especially when training, try to a new flick, a new trick. Even when I would warm-up before a game I would get the ball and practice a skill 5-10 times that I would try out in the session. Then in the game, I would be ready when the time was right.

Learning

You can always learn new skills, from pro players or players in your team. Soccer is a fun game, but sometimes you also need to be serious and study the game.

It is great to master a part of the game, but then you need to push on to learn different aspects. One thing I noticed when I was a youth player, is that you can always learn from other players – even if they are not as good as you!

An online soccer course could be just what you’re looking for, see all of the skills you can learn at Coerver, their packages are awesome, they have coaching for every type of player, click here.

A player may be on average worse than you, but they are better at controlling the ball. Take note when you are playing with others, and watching games that you study their technique. There is always something that you can learn, plus you can learn other players’ weaknesses.

For example, you see that an opponent is poor at control. The next time you see that the ball is going to be played to that person, be on your toes and don’t give them a chance – tackle them as soon as you can.

Dedication

Do you have what it takes? Of course, you do! Reading this article shows that you have the desire, now it is time to put it into practice.

paul ince bandage and blood

We can all push ourselves a little bit further, 5%, 10%, 20% – how much more can you give. You know when you’re out of breath and you feel you can’t run much more, just push yourself to go further than you thought. This bit of effort can win you the ball back.

When you do push yourself, your fitness improves so much. Soccer requires a lot of skill and technique, but one thing every player can do is be at there peak fitness. Build-up your fitness so that you’re one of the fittest players of the field – this will boost your game.

Practice

The number of times we practice will dictate how much we improve. For a good improvement, you need to be playing soccer twice a week. Once a week is too little to see any big changes, but if you are playing three times a week the increase in ability is immense.

When you do practice, warm-up, and prepare yourself. Your muscles need to flexed and prepared for all of the actions and stretches that you will make in the game.

As mentioned a variation in drills is fun and rewarding, it tests different aspects of your game. If you are not training with a team you can do it alone. Practice fitness drills to get up to the mark and then use a net rebounder – look at this one at Amazon it’s perfect.

By keeping the game interesting and fun, it makes the learning and improving joyful.

Over Time

Stick to the game plan above and you’ll see a big improvement. A perfect article for you here on SoccerBlade.com is How to Play Soccer – there are so many great tips in that article you’ll love.

Another article for you for you to improve is by following this simple improvement routine on How to Get Better at Soccer in a Day.

With all of the tips here and the suggested articles, there is no doubt that you’ll get better at soccer soon. For more useful guides, see the articles below or visit our home page.

Read More…

How to get better at soccer in a day!

Soccer players challenging

Practice these core soccer drills, control, passing, tackling, shooting, and dribbling. Study the guide and train for 20 minutes and you’ll become better in just a day!

Soccer does take some time to improve on, but you are on the right track already by looking up how to improve. One of the biggest ways you can improve is by having dedication and since you have searched on how to improve you have shown your desire to succeed.

There are key elements in soccer that must master in order to become better. For any position, this is control and passing. Depending on the position that you play, other skills are needed like tackling, shooting, dribbling, and defense.

These other skills will help you become an all-around star player – even pro defenders are not noted for how good their shots are. First, you must improve on the basics. Some plasyers and coaches can get carried away with tricks, but in a game they are rarely used.

An online soccer course could be just what you’re looking for, see all of the skills you can learn at Coerver, their packages are awesome, they have coaching for every type of player, click here.

The best players get the basics right, and if you focus on the core skills, you will see an improvement in no time. Read through the steps below to take your game to the next level.

Practice Session

Get better in a day at soccer by using the training routines below. Read one section on this guide and spend 20 minutes practicing. Then, read another section and practice again for 20 minutes. If you are on your own, use a rebound net like this cool one at Amazon, or a wall.

Do these steps in a day or over a week and you will definitely become a better player.

  • Study passing – 2 minutes
  • Practice passing – 20 minutes
  • Study control – 2 minutes
  • Practice control – 20 minutes
  • Study tackling – 2 Minutes
  • Practice tackling – 20 minutes
  • Study Shooting – 2 minutes
  • Practice shooting – 20 minutes
  • Study dribbling – 2 minutes
  • Practice dribbling – 20 minutes

Total time 110 minutes x 3 sessions = 5.5 hours

Take a break for 20 minutes in between each session.

Better at Passing

soccer player side foot pass

Passing is without doubt the most important skill soccer. A killer pass will set-up a teammate to score a goal. A ball should be passed cleanly to another player, this means that it will not be bobbling or bouncing towards them.

Most passed will be made with the inside of the foot, be sure to swing your leg through the pass in a controlled steady way. A perfect pass is one with good pace (not so much that it’s hard to control) – this way it gives the opponent no way to intercept.

The ball is played to feet in most circumstances and a hot tip is to know your teammates and how they prefer the ball. Some players like the ball passed to the stronger foot. If you are attacking, the ball is best played on the goal side of the player.

Through balls can split the defense and cause big problems. Have a connection with the player that you are threading the ball through to – this can be by pointing or just a glance.

Better at Control

Control of the ball is vital to give you that extra second on the ball in this fast-paced game. Ideally, you can control the ball without even looking at the ball. Train your foot so that you can cushion the ball ready for your next touch.

Keep your foot slightly loose so that when the ball connects it acts like a sponge and you soak-up the power with your ankle and leg. The safest way to control the ball is with the inside of your foot.

When you master the basics of control, you can use your toes. This will set you up to go on a dribble. If the ball is coming at you from height, you can also use your toes to cushion the ball – you gradually lower your foot 1cm as the ball connects.

Better at Tackling

tackling and holding off two soccer players

Tackling and regaining the ball is important – you can’t score without the ball! Nicking the ball back by poking your foot in, is the most often type of tackle. If you nudge the ball away a teammate can get the ball or just disrupts and delays the attacker.

All players need to tackle, even the strikers! If a striker regains possession of the ball, they are normally further up the field and dangerous at shooting.

When tackling, you must be strong with your upper body so you don’t get knocked off the ball. Be patient and wait for the right moment – notice when the opponent takes his eye of the ball, that gives you a second to put your foot in.

Know how far you can stretch your leg, if you miss the ball the attacker gets past you. If you can get a clear touch of the ball, use the inside of your foot because that is the strongest way.

Better at Shooting

Shoot low and hard, is the key when you get a chance. Close to the corners is ideal, and when the ball is on the ground the keeper needs to use their feet or dive – place & power. The faster the ball is traveling, the less time the keeper has to react.

If you can side foot the ball with power, this will give you the most accuracy. If not, use the laces of your cleats to get the power. Watch the keeper if your about to shoot, they might be to one side of the goal or looking the wrong way.

Give the keeper the eye! Practice looking at one corner of the goal and shooting to the other side of it. This takes a while to master but when you do, it will be one of your favorites shots.

Better at Dribbling

Use the inside of your foot to begin dribbling and then as you advance, use your toes to nudge the ball forward. Begin in a slow jog dribbling – if you go too fast the ball will easily become out of control.

As you get better with each technique using the inside of your foot and your toes, build up the speed, If you start to lose control just slow down a little until you’ve mastered it.

First of all, keep your eyes on the ball so that you’re connecting well with it and keeping it in close distance. Then once you are comfortable, look up for a second as you dribble. You aim to get to a point where you do not need to look at the ball when you are dribbling.

Watch Players Games

After you’ve completed the practice from above – when you are either playing or watching soccer on television focus on one player. Study the player to see what kind of moves they make. If it is your opponent, then keep playing safe for 10 minutes and then take your chance when you know their weaknesses.

When you are watching your favorite team play, look at the players that don’t have the ball – see how they are getting ready for the next move. Normally they will be on the move making space for their teammate to pass then the ball. Or if they are a defender they will be covering the attackers.

Final thoughts

Practice, practice, practice, and study the tips from above. You’ll become a better player in just one day. Listen to your coaches and players during a game. Working together as a team gets results! There is one article that you must read here on SoccerBlade.com How to Play Soccer – it is packed with top tips.

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What is soccer vision? Sound Sight

England striker Wayne Rooney and France midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin 23114034985

There are many aspects in the game of soccer that makes a player great, speed, agility, timing, technique. One of the greatest unsung qualities is awareness of the field. So, what is soccer vision?

In basketball, the player who scores the most points is the one who usually takes the MVP of the game, in baseball the one who scores the most home runs is usually the one who takes all the flashes, in soccer, this role is played by the one who scores the most goals,

Normally, he is the main striker of the team and it is logical that this happens because at the end of the day, the goals are the ones that will make the difference between winning, losing or tying a match and this will be what defines who will win a tournament or who will be relegated to a lower division, things that can be very important at different levels and for many people.

However, for a goal to be scored, several things need to happen since it does not depend on the action of a single player except in exceptional individual goals such as the goal of Diego Maradona vs England in the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico.

Even in those cases, there are teammates who make movements to drag the defenders’ marking or give them a clear pass so that the most skilled player can make these kinds of unique plays. And precisely at this point, we find a factor that is typically attributed to midfielders, which allows scanning the field to find the best pass option.

What is scanning in soccer?

Named that way after former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, scanning is the skill a player requires to observe the pitch during a soccer game, before receiving the ball, this in order to make the correct decisions regarding passes and shots and execute them as quickly as possible since as the level of competitiveness in soccer increases, the game is faster and the player has less and less time to decide what to do with the ball.

Players like Xavi, Pirlo, Scholes, or Frank Lampard are examples of soccer players who have trained this skill and helped them become one of the best midfielders in the world.

What is soccer vision – Xavi’s Best Passes

What is soccer vision?

As already mentioned, reading a soccer game requires the player to maintain a constant vision of his or her surroundings, this can be seen in Xavi Hernández, a former FC Barcelona player, who could say that his main skill was his vision of the game.

If he is followed up in any of his matches, you can see how he is always turning his head to observe the pitch in the previous plays to receive the ball. Once you have it, it’s all about finding a free space that one of your peers can take advantage of.

How can I improve my vision for soccer?

This is a skill that is preferable to be worked on as a child so that the player grows with that way of seeing the pitch. To improve vision for soccer it is advisable to try to minimize the time spent watching the ball either when in possession of him or not, increasing the time that the pitch is observed, which will give a greater awareness of the location of colleagues and rivals.

Additionally, it is helpful to locate the colleagues who are doing runs and draw an imaginary line that allows you to visualize where they will be to place the pass in that place, remembering that to give a pass with advantage, it must be done towards the place where he or she is going to be and not to the place where he or she is at the time you observed it.

What is soccer IQ?

Soccer IQ is a term that has been used to encompass certain skills mental that a soccer player has to perform certain movements or actions that are not within the typical characteristics that are usually reviewed in this sport such as pace, shooting, passing, dribbling or defending.

Soccer IQ covers that player’s ability to know how to locate himself on the field at a certain point in the game in view of taking advantage of that position, knowing what to do with the ball, that is, making the best possible decision for the benefit of the team, What is the best action to take at any given time based on the result, the game, the time and other factors.

A recent example that shows how IQ soccer can work is Federico Valverde’s play in the Spain Super Cup final between Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid, where, near the end of the game, the Uruguayan fouls Atletico’s striker, Álvaro Morata, to prevent him from scoring the goal, knowing that this would cost him a red card.

Valverde, knowing that there were less than 5 minutes left to finish the game and that if Atletico de Madrid scored that goal there would be very little margin to tie the match, decided to sacrifice himself for the team and this play made the difference in the game that ended up giving the trophy to Real Madrid.

How can I improve my soccer IQ?

The best way to improve soccer IQ is by adapting your way of playing as professional soccer players do, which involves playing at the highest level possible in order to push yourself to the max of your own abilities–this will bring a faster way of thinking about the pitch as well as better decisions.

What is soccer vision – Paul Scholes’ example

As explained in Xavi’s case, observing and learning from the movements and actions that the best players in the world do is always an addition to your game and try to put them into practice whenever possible. Some players say that they imagine the games before playing them with the information they already have from their own team and from the rival, which facilitates their movements once they are on the pitch.

For those who want to play at the highest level or for those who want to improve their level in midweek matches with their coworkers, scanning and soccer IQ are two factors that are good to work to better understand this sport, even when just to watch a game from the stands or on TV.

Watch and learn from the masters of the game, current, and past to pick up some of their skills and have soccer vision. For more useful guides, see the articles below or visit our home page.

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What happens if soccer players fight? Fierce Competition

Strong tackle in soccer - What happens if soccer players fight?

Soccer can be a fierce and competitive game with so much competition that the players get overzealous. On the outside, two players running after a ball may seem absurd, but to us soccer fans we know the desire. Games between rivals can strike up some of the most heated duals, but what happens if soccer players fight?

There is an English saying that soccer is a gentleman’s game played by hooligans, and rugby is a hooligan’s game played by gentlemen.

Soccer Blade

This is a reflection of what the nature of both sports represents for the English, the main precursors of both disciplines. The phrase comes from the fact that by regulation and its nature as a constant contact game, rugby should have a greater number of confrontations and problems between players, which is more common in soccer whose base is much thinner and, theoretically, it would require less contact and fights.

We can safely say that all of this is attributable to the popularity that soccer has gained worldwide throughout the years compared to rugby, which has led to the incorporation of bad habits. In short, despite having less contact between the players, soccer turns out to have more fights than rugby, ironic as it may sound.

Despite the fact that soccer is a limited-contact sport, that is, it is not completely necessary or mandatory that there be physical contact between the players, it is normal that in certain situations such as they fight for possession of the divided ball, in the corners and free-kicks or in the tackles, there is contact between the players.

To be within the rules, the clashes between the players must be a shoulder to shoulder, so if one pushes the other with another part of the arm, it is considered foul. In tackles, the foot must first contact the ball, if it touches the player’s leg first, it is considered foul.

For corners or free kicks, the defender can get very close to the attacker as long as he does not hug him or take him somewhere in the body that prevents the attacker from moving. Logically, any type of direct physical aggression is considered a foul.

Women competing for the soccer ball What happens if soccer players fight?

What happens if players fight?

In ice hockey, unlike the popular belief of those who are not fans of the sport, fights are punished, although not with the severity that is applied in other sports. Due to the competitiveness and aggressiveness that has accompanied hockey since its inception.

The fights were something that ended up becoming an additional attraction for the sport so it has become a part of hockey reaching the point of having its own rules, so as to set limits and protect players. It is one of the few sports, leaving aside those of fighting such as boxing, where this type of confrontation is allowed.

In soccer, it is completely prohibited by the FIFA disciplinary code for expulsion for a red card and a penalty of 6 games without playing for fighting during a soccer game of any of the competitions that precede them. If a player tries to separate fighting players or is simply attacked without returning aggression, he is not penalized in any way.

However, each federation establishes its own sanctions in its competences as well as an evaluation of each case to define said sanctions. The regulation is not limited to confrontations between rivals; if two teammates fight during a match they each receive a red card.

One of the most famous antecedents of these cases is the fight between Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer of Newcastle during a match against Aston Villa for the Premier League in 2005, where both were expelled and received several matches of sanction in addition to an economic fine.

What happens if you punch a referee in soccer?

In the same way that assaults between rivals or teammates, an attack on a referee has also sanctioned with a red card in the match and a sanction that would lead to a prolonged suspension that would surely exceed the sanctions of the cases of aggressions mentioned above since both the FIFA like the other federations tries to protect referees so in a case of assault on one, the sanction can be months without playing.

How many players can be sent off football soccer?

We have talked a lot about the topic of red cards and expulsions, however, if for reasons of aggression, double yellow card, or any other game circumstance, 5 players from the same team are sent off, the game would be ended.

In the event that the expulsion is from a player on the bench, it would not count for that case and the match could continue, the rule would only apply to players who are part of the 11 that are in the pitch at that time, therefore the minimum number of players that a team can have in the pitch is 7 players.

What happens if a soccer match is abandoned?

Although here we have explained as a possible cause of abandonment of a party, a high number of expulsions, the causes for this to happen may be up to climatic conditions or more recently, racism. A game is considered abandoned when the 90 minutes of play is not completed for some reason, and depending on the cause it can be repeated from the beginning.

The remaining time can be played as it happened, for example, in a match between Real Madrid and Real Sociedad (it was played from minute 84) in the same 2005, the result can also be kept until that moment or finally, the team that did not commit the offense is given as the winner, the latter case may be due to improper alignment.

Assaults in soccer are very frowned upon and sanctioned with great severity since the message of the federations is based on a sport that is governed by the principles of Fair Play and in this sense, these types of situations must be eradicated by treating them harshly to avoid recidivism and any feeling of contemplation.

In fact, the players who have been involved in this type of situation and have earned the “label” of being violent, in many cases, see their careers a bit affected since not all soccer clubs want that kind of image for himself especially in major clubs that try to uphold certain ideals.

One of the key aspects of soccer is to hold your nerve and keep your discipline. Soccer is a team game and relies on 11 players on one side – without one member it is an uphill struggle. For more useful guides, see the articles below or visit our home page.

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What are five aside soccer rules? Exciting Game

Indoor soccer - What are five aside soccer rules?

We know the soccer rules for 11 a side but they are slightly different for five aside. The games itself are more fast and furious, meaning we need to adjust our tactics and style of play. There is also the difference between the field and sometimes walls, so what are five aside soccer rules? Here we explain all you need to know to be successful for a 5’s game.

We can start from the fact that soccer (known globally as football), at its most basic form, may have its origin in China, around 300 BC in a sport that consisted of putting a ball in a net using the feet. We can also say that the British, through the FA (The Football Association),

in the 19th century, created the first official rules of soccer, which is why the creation of this sport is credited to them, despite the long-running debate about who should be the one credited, to begin with.

Regardless of whether its origin is Chinese or English, what can be said with complete certainty is that soccer has become the most popular sport in the world, to the point that it is estimated that half of the global population is fond or practiced the soccer.

5 Aside Soccer

It is also the most diverse in terms of players; some of the most popular and successful players in the history of the game are from countries that perhaps are not that known for their sports figures and that is a testament to how influential and significant football can become.

From that point onward we have seen soccer (or football, as you prefer to call it) change in many ways, with the FA and other soccer organizations developing the sport in order to function in a much more positive manner and to make it a much more even and entertaining competition.

Sports have emerged that have earned their own name and have even been assimilated by FIFA (highest soccer organization in the world), such as beach soccer or futsal, with both of them being the two examples of the five a side soccer types, which is also the main topic of the article in question we have here.

Five a side soccer is a variation of classical soccer whose main difference is the number of players on the field 5 vs 11 of classical soccer. Another substantial difference is that, depending on the discipline, you can play indoor or outdoor.

The objective of the sport is the same as in classical soccer, to put the ball in the opposite net using only the feet and the team with the most goals scored wins. Similar plays are also available within the game such as penalty kicks, free kicks or corner kicks.

Soccer balls on artificial turf - What are five aside soccer rules?

What are five a side soccer rules?

Five a side soccer does not have an official regulation endorsed by FIFA. However, each variation of five a side soccer has its own rules and among these, they have points in common in the most basic sense and here we are going to present them to you:

  • As already mentioned, it is played with 5 players of which 4 are outfield players and one is a goalkeeper. The distribution on the pitch (who is the defender or attacker) of the 4 outfield players is up to the team.
  • The goalkeeper must wear a uniform different from the rest of his team.
  • Only the goalkeeper is allowed to touch the ball with his hands inside his area.
  • It is allowed to make an unlimited number of substitutions at any time of the game with the authorization of the referee.
  • Except in indoor soccer, when the ball leaves the pitch limit, either air or ground, the team opposite to the last to touch the ball will restart the game.
  • Unlike classical soccer, there is no offside rule.
  • Sliding tackles are not allowed, they are considered fouls regardless of whether there is no contact with the opponent.

How long does a five a side soccer match last?

Although it may vary depending on the variation of the five a side soccer practised, it is normal for it to last 10 or 20 minutes, remembering that it will always last considerably less than a classic soccer game since the pace is more intense and much more similar to basketball due to the dimensions of the playing field, which leads us to our next point.

What is the five a side soccer pitch size?

As in classic soccer, there are some minimum and maximum measures that the pitch must have, that is, they are not fixed measures but ranges that are allowed in the regulation of each variation of this sport. In the five a side soccer it is set as 20 meters as minimum length and 25 meters as a maximum length as well as 30 meters as minimum width and 35 meters of maximum width.

The boxes have a half-circle shape with a ratio of 6 meters from the center of the goal which should measure 3.66 meters wide with a height of 1.22 meters. Five a side soccer can be played without a center circle.

This is very interesting because it allows soccer players to perform in a different manner to what they would do in a classic soccer pitch, often having more chances to do special tricks and also leading to them having to develop their abilities in small spaces a lot more.

This is something that makes five a side soccer something very unique in terms of entertainment because there is simply so much that can happen in such short notice and it also leads to some very fun results.

Soccer is a sport that has been defined by change and passion throughout the many decades it has existed and it is very likely to continue doing so in the coming years for the simple fact that we are a society defined by our capacity to change and we believe that the game has benefitted from that very notion.

Five a side soccer is one of the most interesting and entertaining progressions of the game since its humble beginnings in China and this is something that we need to remember because five a side soccer is somewhat underrated in the large schemes of things when it comes to the beautiful game, as the British call it.

Overall, five aside soccer is a great game to play with your friends while the weather is at its worst. You get more action on the ball with the smaller surface and you can score more goals. The main rule is to score more than the other team! For more useful guides, see the articles below or visit our home page.

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Is soccer a sport or an activity? Friendly Game!

Street soccer legs - Is soccer a sport or an activity?

Is soccer a sport or an activity? This is the case of the use that we give to the words sport, activity, and exercise; three terms that are commonly used as if they meant the same thing but that, in reality, have their very marked differences and that it is good to understand them to avoid confusion.

So, the beginning of the article must focus on understanding these three concepts in order to determine which one can be associated with soccer. Starting with physical activity, it refers to any action or body movement that we do use the skeletal muscles and that requires an expenditure of energy.

We can say that some actions as common and as simple as throwing away the trash or starting the car can be considered activities. When we do physical activities in a planned way to create a structure that helps us improve some physical or health conditions, this is called exercise. It can be exemplified by regular jogging or cycling.

Activity: the situation in which a lot of things are happening or people are moving around: There was a lot of activity in preparation for the Queen’s visit. Economists are concerned by the low level of economic activity. There was a sudden flurry of activity when the director walked in.

Dictionary.com

In the case of sport, we can define it as an activity that may require some specialization since it is based on competition, either individually or in teams. Sports also require some training or preparation to achieve the required specialization in certain actions that are important to the game. Baseball or basketball are clear examples of sports and how could it be otherwise, also soccer.

Why is soccer a sport?

As already mentioned, a sport requires particular training to develop certain special skills that help increase its competitiveness, which is what is done at the semi-professional and professional level with soccer (and in some cases at the amateur level), perform training periodically to gain the best physical and technical condition possible in order to reach a level that allows achieving the established goals.

Additionally, another point that causes soccer to be classified as a sport is the fact that it has a regulation by which all its practitioners must be governed. This is why soccer is a sport and has that connotation in any part of the world, including the United States, although it is having progressive growth, it is not the most popular sport in that country, as it happens in most nations of the world.

It is also a sport because it is defined by its competitive edge and the fact that it combines that very competitive nature to the objective of winning individual and team trophies, thus promoting and encouraging the very nature that defines sports as a whole, which is competing to win.

Sport: a game, competition, or activity needing physical effort and skill that is played or done according to rules, for enjoyment and/or as a job: Football, basketball, and hockey are all team sports. I enjoy winter sports like skiing and skating.

Dictionary.com
Female soccer players tackling - Is soccer a sport or an activity?

Is soccer a contact sport?

Sports can be classified in many ways and one is considering the level of contact that may exist. A contact sport is when it is necessary and obligatory for there to be direct contact between the players, that is, without contact you could not practice that sport because it is an essential part of it, as is the case with American football, rugby or boxing.

There are also no contact sports such as track and field sports or tennis, where there should be no contact between the players under any circumstances. In the case of soccer, it is considered a limited-contact sport because there is occasional contact or collision between the players although this is not a part essential of the game.

It is normal for attackers, especially strikers, to use their bodies as a barrier between opponents and the ball, as well as defenders to use tackles to cut off any rival attack. It is also normal for there to be shoulder-to-shoulder collisions, which is allowed by the regulations (unlike pushing),

These are situations where two players dispute the possession of the ball. This is very commonly seen in corner kicks or free kicks plays where each player takes his own mark and although he cannot hug or prevent his mark from moving, he usually uses his arms to increase the space occupied by the body he is defending in order to limit and inconvenience the attacker.

Is Soccer a Physical Game?

Contact is something that has become an interesting part of the game because there are tournaments, such as the English Premier League, where there is a bigger sense of emphasis and dedication to the physical side of things, which is something that has been developed throughout the decades as part of the folklore of British football.

We can see it even to this day with all the different elements that have defined the game in the islands. This is particularly interesting when football is not inherently physical, but it’s something that has defined the sport and a lot of teams try to use that for their own benefit.

Soccer ball in the air, in the woods with children jumping - Is soccer a sport or an activity?

Is soccer a sport or an activity?

However, despite being a limited-contact sport, it is not a sport that is violent by nature, although situations that lead to serious injuries or in matches that may be a little stronger than others in terms of aggressiveness may occur, all in comparison to rugby, basketball or American football that require other types of physical conditions that are reflected in the biotype of each discipline.

For a player of 5 ft 7 in height and 158 lb of weight, it would be very difficult to play at the world-class level in the Six Nations, NBA or NFL. Having said that, that is the height and weight of Lionel Messi, one of the best (for many the best) soccer players in the world.

Soccer is a sport and one of the most beloved at that, always getting the best and most passion from their supporters and always striving to make the game a lot more competitive and challenging on many different levels, which is an essential element of every single sport that has ever existed in human history: the desire to do better and to become much more competitive as time progresses. For more useful guides, see the articles below or visit our home page.

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Indoor soccer vs outdoor soccer rules: Intensive vs Tactical

Soccer ball indoor soccer - Indoor soccer vs outdoor soccer rules

Soccer that have emerged in the world throughout the decades, one that has gradually gained a certain degree frequency and cultural and commercial relevance is futsal. Soccer played outside is slow-paced in a tactical build-up but action-packed in the goalmouth. Indoor soccer can be intensive without any rest, but it’s fun-packed. Indoor soccer vs outdoor soccer rule explained.

This sport appeared in the scene in the United States and Canada as an alternative to play soccer in the winter periods, especially in certain areas of those countries where the weather conditions can be quite difficult during that time of year.

Indeed, it has been expanding to other parts of the world such as Mexico, Brazil, the United Kingdom and Spain, although its growth is truly global at the moment, having its own world federation that governs it as is the WMF (World Minifootball Federation).

When it comes to the United States, it has the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) as a professional league (in addition to other semi-professional leagues), as the main competition of this discipline in the country that has recently contacted managers and players with international experience in classic soccer like Landon Donovan or Jermaine Jones.

Indoor soccer vs outdoor soccer rules

The main and most marked difference is the pitch: indoor soccer (as you can imagine) is played in roofed places but also has walls that limit the field and, in fact, are part of the game itself, unlike outdoor soccer that is played outdoors.

The type of grass is different since the indoor soccer fields are artificial turf while the soccer fields are natural grass, with its exceptions since the use of mixed-grass is increasingly common and in a few cases, the use artificial turf.

It’s also worth pointing out that the dimensions of the pitch are very different, being an indoor soccer field half as long and wide as an outdoor soccer pitch, being typically about 60 m long by 25 m wide.

This leads us to another important difference, which is the number of players, since it has less space due to the dimensions of the pitch, it also needs fewer players than in indoor soccer, there are 6 players including the goalkeeper. The size of the pitch also means that there is no offside rule.

The duration of each match is also different because an indoor soccer match lasts 60 minutes vs. 90 minutes for an outdoor soccer match but also the distribution of the parts is different because indoor soccer has 4 quarters of 15 minutes where the first and third interruptions are 3 minutes and the second, the half-time is 15 minutes.

In the latter, if it coincides with the half-time of outdoor soccer. Another particular characteristic of indoor soccer that separates it from outdoor soccer is the number of substitutions, which in this case is unlimited.

Slide tackle on artificial turf - Indoor soccer vs outdoor soccer rules

Can you slide in indoor soccer?

In the regulations established by the WMF, only slide tackles are allowed as long as there is contact with the opponent or any danger for any player on the field, in any other case it will be sanctioned either with a direct or indirect free kick and disciplinary action depending on the type of foul. Similarly, it is rare for someone to want to do a slide tackle in indoor soccer in view of the type of grass being used.

What is a blue card in indoor soccer?

In some competitions, they use a third card that is usually blue, in addition to the typical yellow and red cards of outdoor soccer, as an option to caution a player for an action that can be considered more serious than a yellow card but not So serious as to be sent off permanently.

So with this blue card what you do is take the player out for a defined period of time where your team will play with one less player.

Are there throw-ins allowed in indoor soccer?

As already mentioned, indoor soccer uses walls that limit the pitch and if the ball touches the walls, the game continues normally, that is, the walls are part of the game in the same way that occurs in hockey, for example. This is a very important element in the development of this game and one of the main characteristics that separate it from other variations of classic soccer.

In the event that the ball overcomes any of the walls and leaves the pitch completely, the team opposite to that of the last player who touched the ball will have a free-kick from the closest point in the pitch where the ball came out. This also occurs if the ball is kicked too high and touches the ceiling of the stadium.

Outdoor soccer game corner kick - Indoor soccer vs outdoor soccer rules

Is indoor soccer harder than outdoor?

It is quite likely that most of the people who have practiced both sports answer this question saying yes because in indoor soccer the dimensions of the pitch are smaller and if the ball touches the walls it does not affect the continuity of the game, make it a much faster sport that requires speed both mentally to make decisions very fast, and physical to maintain the rhythm of the game of constant back and forth that indoor soccer has.

Can you wear outdoor soccer cleats indoor?

It is not recommended as outdoor soccer cleats have higher lugs that help maintain stability and grip on natural pitches turf. That is why there are cleats made specifically for playing on artificial surfaces with mini cleats that help improve traction and ball control as well as being made of a more resistant material.

Do indoor soccer players wear shin guards?

Indoor soccer players require the same protection as outdoor soccer players, and therefore, they also use without guards and these are the same ones they use in outdoor soccer. If the game is casual between friends it is not always necessary.

Indoor soccer is a sport with a lower global impact than outdoor soccer, however, it turns out to be a very interesting option not only for those who live in places with adverse weather conditions but for anyone who is an admirer of classical soccer and wants to entertain themselves.

It can also be an excellent complement to outdoor soccer training since it helps to improve the mental dexterity and speed of the players’ passes. For more useful guides, see the articles below or visit our home page.

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