Have you recently fell in love with the wonderful sport that is soccer? If you enjoy watching or playing this game, it’s really no surprise because billions of people love this sport. In fact, the 2018 FIFA World Cup garnered a combined 3.752 billion viewers across the globe. That’s more than half the world’s population! But if you’re new to the game and still get lost with the different terms and statistics, don’t worry. Here is a guide to understanding soccer term and statistics for beginners.

Soccer Terms

Before we dive into the common soccerstats that teams and fans track during each season, let’s discuss these four terms that you’ll often come across when watching or playing soccer.

  1. Shot

When a player attempts to score a goal, that attempt is called a shot. But not every kick is considered a shot, even when they are directed at the goal. Some of them are called a cross, which is a long kick, usually from a wide position, that enters the penalty area and is intended to help another player score. Therefore, if a goalkeeper stops a cross, they are not credited with a save, except for when a cross would have entered the goal. In that case, the cross is also considered a shot.

  1. Goal

When an offensive player kicks a goal, their team earns a point. A point is also credited to the offensive team if a defensive player accidentally kicks the ball to the defender’s goal; this point is credited to the total offensive team’s goal statistics even though a defensive player technically scored it. When a goalkeeper deflects a shot by an offensive player, that goal is credited to the latter. A goal is also credited to an offensive player if their shot is deflected by a teammate or a defensive player as long as either takes full control of the ball.

  1. Assist

An assist is only awarded to an offensive player if their pass leads directly to a goal. On one play, up to two assists can only be awarded.

  1. Save

A save is credited to a goalkeeper if they manage to block or catch the ball that would have gone into the goal. However, a save is only awarded if it is against a shot and not a cross, unless the cross would have gone into the goal.


With a basic understanding of these soccer terminologies, let’s discuss soccer statistics.

  1. Goals per game

Goals per game is calculated by dividing the total goals a player has scored with the total number of games they played.

  1. Assists per game

Assists per game is calculated by dividing the total assists a player has made with the total number of games they played.

  1. Goals-against Average

The goals-against average is calculated by multiplying the goals allowed by 80, and then dividing the product by the total minutes played.

  1. Save Percentage

The save percentage is calculated by dividing the total number of saves by the sum of saves and goals allowed.

These statistics determine the performance of a player and a team in the overall league. The next time you play or watch soccer, keep an eye out for these statistics to know where your favorite team stands in the season.