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Premier League Soccer: Terms to Know

Every sport has its own jargon; depending on where it's played, there may also be regional nuances. Here is a quick list of some terms that you may hear while watching a Premier League game on Peacock.

(Keeping a) Clean Sheet

Not allowing any goals in a match, what American sports fans call “shutouts.” At the end of every Premier League season, the goalkeeper who has kept the most clean sheets is awarded the Golden Glove. Last season, Liverpool’s Alisson and Manchester City’s Ederson shared the award, having both kept a league-high 20 clean sheets.

Derby (pronounced ‘DAR-bee’)

A rivalry match between two clubs from the same geographic area. For example, matches between Liverpool and Everton are known as the Merseyside Derby, since both clubs are located in the city of Liverpool in the county of Merseyside.


What we know as a “tie” between two teams


Generally used to speak of a team’s upcoming matches, but the term can more widely be used to mean “matches,” not necessarily in the future

Full Time

The end of the 90 regular minutes (two 45-minute halves) allotted to a match. However, most matches include additional time, which is generally referred to as “injury time” or “stoppage time” (see “Stoppage Time”)

“In the X’th minute”

A phrase commonly used to describe when a specific event happened within a match. For example, if a commentator were to say, “Kevin De Bruyne’s goal in the 8th minute gave Manchester City a 1-0 lead,” it would mean that he scored some time in the minute between the game clock reading 7:01 and 8:00. This period is not referred to as the “7th minute” because the time between the opening kickoff and the first 60 seconds of a match is considered the 1st minute.


The uniforms players wear, including the shirt (jersey), shorts and socks.


Term used to describe the referee, assistant referees and other sanctioned match administrators.


The field

Stoppage Time

(also referred to as “injury time”) The time added by the referee to the end of each 45-minute half to compensate for interruptions during the game. The referee is the only person with the official match time, and they decide how much injury/stoppage time is added at the end of a half. The amount of time is displayed on a board held up on the sidelines by the fourth official. Stoppage time is most commonly added to make up for time elapsed during substitutions, assessment of injuries on-field, and/or incidents on the pitch that delay action.


Some use “striker” as a synonym for “forward,” but most people specifically refer to a “striker” as a pure goal-scoring forward whose sole job is finding the back of the net.


Fans of a club


What American sports fans know as “standings” is referred to as “the table.” The table ranks teams according to their point total.


A “transfer” in European soccer is how players move between teams, but the system is very different from the system in most American sports. Teams pay each other for the “rights” to the player’s registration, and the cost of buying a player’s registration is called a “transfer fee,” separate from the player’s salary. The team to which the player is going pays an agreed upon transfer fee to the team from which the player is coming; transfer fees are not always publicly announced, but for top players, they are significant sums of money. Players can also be moved to a new team on a “temporary transfer,” or a loan. This is frequently used for young players who are not expected to earn significant playing time on their current team; they will often be loaned out to another team where they will gain more game experience.

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