What Is A Brace In Soccer?

You may have heard soccer players and commentators talking about hat tricks when a player has performed exceptionally well. A slightly less impressive (but still difficult) feat is a brace.

In soccer, a brace is when a player scores two goals in a single game.

In this guide, we’re looking at the meaning behind this strange soccer term and looking at the history of some of the sport’s most famous braces.

Why Is It Called A Brace?

The history of this word’s meaning in soccer is thought to date back to the old Anglo-French language. It meant a pair of arms, similar to the pair of goals that a soccer player scores when they achieve a brace.

However, the origin could also relate to an Old English expression. Hunters would use the word brace to refer to how many animals they had caught on their trip. For example, if a hunter comes home with a brace of geese, it meant they had caught two geese. Similarly, if a soccer player scores a brace of goals, they have two goals.

Many people believe it’s this hunting origin that translated into the sport of soccer. Strikers were said to be ‘hunting’ for goals and would therefore sometimes come home with a brace of two.

How Can A Soccer Player Score A Goal?

We now know that a brace is when a player scores two goals in a soccer match but what do they need to do to score a goal?

There are a number of different ways a player can score a goal but the only thing that matters is that the ball crosses the goal line, under the crossbar, and between the two goalposts. It’s also important that the entirety of the ball crosses the whole of the goal line.

There are many high-profile incidents of a goal not being allowed by the referee because the ball didn’t cross the line all the way. In fact, there are also some famous cases of referees getting this wrong and disallowing a goal when the ball did cross the line.

Aside from this, a player can use any part of their body except their hands or arms to score a goal. A goal can be scored by any player on the field and it can happen at any point in the game.

What’s The Prize For Getting A Brace?

In soccer, a brace does not come with its own physical rewards like a medal or trophy. Instead, the honor of achieving a brace is rewarding enough.

The only benefit for the players is an extra couple of goals being added to their overall statistics.

Hat Tricks In Soccer

Similar to a brace, a hat trick is an achievement in soccer that refers to the number of goals a player scores in a single game. However, a hat trick is when a player scores three goals in a match, making it slightly more impressive than a brace.

Again a hat trick is simply an impressive feat in a game of soccer that comes with no physical reward.

It’s also worth noting that, because a hat trick is more difficult to achieve, it is seen as a much more prestigious achievement than a brace on its own.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Can A Player Score More Than One Brace In A Soccer Match?

A player can score multiple braces in a soccer match and there’s no cap on the number that they can score.

Of course, if a player scores a brace and then gets one extra goal, it is considered a hat trick. However, you could say that if a player scores four goals in one match, they have two braces.

A soccer player scoring with a scissors kick. What is a brace in soccer

Do The Goals Have To Be Scored Consecutively For It To Be A Brace?

In a single soccer game, a player can earn a brace by scoring two goals at any point in the match. They don’t have to be scored back-to-back for it to count as a brace.

This means that a player can score a goal, their teammate can score one, and then they can score again themselves and this will still count as a brace.

What Are 4 Goals In Soccer Called?

When a player scores four goals in a single match, it is not usually considered a ‘double brace’ or ‘two braces’. Instead, it is referred to as a ‘haul’.

However, this is not an official term and there’s nothing to say that some people have different names for the achievement.

What Are 5 Goals In Soccer Called?

A player will very rarely score five goals in a single soccer match but when they do, it is often referred to as a ‘glut’. Again, this is not an official term and different people might have different names for it.

One famous example of this happening is Polish striker, Robert Lewandowski’s 5 goals against Wolfsburg.

Lewandowski didn’t even start the game but scored his 5 goals within the space of 9 minutes after being substituted into the game.

What Are 6 Goals In Soccer Called?

When a player scores as many as six goals in a single match of soccer, there is no official name for it.

These terms end when players get to five. Instead, a player who scores six goals in a game is said to have achieved a ‘double hat trick’ or, simply, two hat tricks.

Who Has The Most Braces In The Champions League?

Throughout the history of the Champions League, no player has scored more braces in competitive matches than Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo has scored an incredible 38 braces! However, it’s worth remembering that he is still currently playing at the time of writing and there’s no telling how many more braces he’ll score in his career.

Final Thoughts

Braces are very impressive achievements in soccer and players will often brag about getting one, regardless of what level they play at. However, the truly elite players will score a brace and think nothing of it. After all, they’re just doing their job.

Next time you’re watching your favorite team playing soccer, look out for your star striker trying to bag themselves a brace.

Bryan Coe

Bryan Coe

Bryan is the founder of The Soccer Handbook. He has been playing soccer since he was 8 years old, continues to play, and has also done his share of volunteer coaching over the years. Bryan’s mission is to help coaches coach better and help people enjoy the beautiful game throughout their lives.


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