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How To Play Soccer: Goal Kicks
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Goal kicks are given to a team when a member of the opposing team strikes the ball and it leaves the playing field, whether it is on the ground or in the air, and a goal hasn’t been scored. The ball must have been last touched by a member of the attacking team and must have left the field of play via the by-line or goal line. This is a way of starting play again.

The ball will be placed anywhere inside the defender’s goal area and of the opponent’s players have to stay outside of the penalty area until the ball is again in play. A goalkeeper cannot pick the ball up, it must be kicked and it is in play again as soon as it is out of the penalty area. A goal can only be scored from a goal kick by the team that does not kick the ball into play. Typically, goal kicks are taken by goalkeepers but they can also be taken by other players if the goalkeeper is for some reason unable to kick due to an injury or if someone can kick better than the keeper.

One goal kick set play is called ‘spread the field’. In this play, a team will place the ball in the middle of the goal box line forcing the opposing team to defend both sides of the field. The kicking team will have either the goalkeeper or a kicker, who can kick accurately with either foot, kick the ball into play. The sweeper will follow the ball. The team member that is receiving the kick cannot touch the ball until it is out of the penalty box or the kick will have to be done again. Once the kick is made, the players will shift to whichever side of the field the ball goes to, however, the fullback and another player will move in front of the goal in the event control of the ball is lost. Several passes are usually made and the effort to keep the ball on the sides of the field, out of the center, is preferred. Play will continue in this manner until a player gets a good shot at the goal and takes it.

This type of goal kick set play is good because it forces the defenders to spread out and cover the entire field since they won’t know what area the ball will be kicked to. Coaches like this approach, also, because it teaches players to how to control the ball instead of just trying to kick it hard and down the field, and it also teaches attackers how to ‘spread the field’ take the ball wide and how to make an attack from the back of the field. This method does require a great amount of practice but is very effective when learned well.

When learning how to play soccer it is important to be able to take goal kicks effectively. If you do not you may put your team under unnecessary pressure.


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