When most people think of the best soccer goals, they probably think of the big, bulky, and ultra-durable white goals they see on professional stadiums. However, soccer goals come in so many shapes and sizes that it’s hard to give a definitive “best of” title to any single design.
Truth be told, personal preference, budget, and the activity, will often dictate what type of soccer goal is best. And for most people, portable soccer goals just make more sense because it’s easier to set up a pickup game for friends or kids than to go play 90 minutes on a stadium.
Check out our favorite soccer goals designed for good, clean, family fun and practicing drills in the comfort of your own backyard.
One of the main reasons why this model enjoys so much popularity is the fact that it comes with two goals per package. It’s also quite sturdy and easy to work with.
You can choose between 2.5 ft. and 4 ft. soccer goals from GOLME. That means that you either have 2.5 feet or 4 feet distance between posts. As you can tell, these are intended for backyard play or your average target practice.
The design is not traditional as instead of the two-posts-and-crossbar design, the goal is actually more like an archway or igloo entrance with a net attached in the back.
This makes it very fun and entertaining for kids, as well as very convenient to pack and carry. The GOLME Pro soccer goals come in pairs and with their own carry bags. So you can take them with you and have fun at the beach, at the campsite, in the park – wherever you want. Keep in mind that they don’t float, so polo is out of the question.
The frame is surprisingly strong for this price range, especially as it’s hard to imagine anyone blasting strikes into the net like they’re Roberto Carlos in an elimination match.
If you want to teach your kids soccer skills instead of just the joy of soccer, these goals are not ideal. The design may promote some bad striking habits.
Here’s another pair of soccer goals available at an affordable price. This time, the traditional design is followed more closely.
Sport Squad offers a pair of soccer goals, rectangular in shape, that are pretty good for practicing your precision strikes in the backyard. The goals are 4’ x 3’, which also makes them great for toddlers and kids looking to have some fun.
The anchor system seems reliable as long as you don’t hit the ball so hard as if your life depended on it. The steel stakes do a good job at keeping the soccer goals grounded and they have anti-rust protection too. You can enjoy these goals for a long time.
If you’re looking for something you can take with you, these goals fit the bill. Apart from being small, they’re also collapsible, as most soccer goals this size usually are. They can be reduced to 16.5” x 2.5” when folded.
The net also seems quite durable, which is good as that’s usually the first component that fails in most cases.
It’s hard to put a finger on just one distinctive feature. However, the steel stakes used to anchor the goals are of the highest quality, a surprising feature given the low cost of the goals.
Hitting the posts or frame too hard may quickly alter the shape of these practice goals. That is why they’re generally better suited for toddlers and younger kids rather than teens and adults.
This option is a bit different as MGA offers more than just the soccer goal. It also offers a ball and a decent pump to go along with the portable goal.
Anytime you can get some extra accessories for your money, things are looking good. If you don’t need two goals, you can spend almost as much as you would on a pair of backyard soccer goals and get a ball and a pump too.
This MGA set proves to be one of the best bargains and well-thought-out packages for kids that are just getting their initiation to soccer. The ball is a size smaller than a regulation ball which makes it easier for kids to kick it and control it.
The actual goal is colored and padded to ensure protection for the goalie. What’s also nice is the extra stability. This MGA soccer goal might not need any additional sandbags or stakes. The hockey-style frame offers enough counterbalance in the back to keep the posts up.
Although it looks like a one-piece design, the 4’ x 2.5’ MGA soccer goal can be disassembled and taken out to the park, to the beach, or anywhere else there may be room for playing.
If you want something to entertain lots of kids for hours, a single soccer goal may not cut it. Therefore, ordering this package twice just to get two goals out of it may be slightly expensive.
If you’re really looking to have some fun with the whole family, this Step2 2-in-1 set might be for you.
The 2-in1 soccer goal can be used for soccer and field hockey. The poles feature padding to protect the kids and also increase the durability of the goal posts.
Step2 offers this soccer goal as a package deal with the following items: soccer ball, street hockey puck, pitch-back ball, and two hockey sticks. The only thing missing would be a small pump for the soccer ball.
The goal has minimal use on ice; the net isn’t fine enough to stop pucks. Your best bet is to put it on firm ground and use the provided pitch-back balls to practice your shots.
On the flip side, the net is a dual-feature net. You will notice that once the goal is set up, you can step behind it and use the back of the net to exercise catching the puck.
Being able to practice catches from the back of the net can really help kids develop their skills. Even though this is mainly a backyard kids’ soccer goal, it’s much more useful than it seems for any family passionate about sports.
The net isn’t looped at the base of the frame. Instead, it’s tied in a few places. This means that hard strikes may move the goal and may also unsecure the net.
Intended for pickup games and built to last, the PUGG pop-up soccer goals are compact and very convenient. You can use them in kids and adult games.
As a pop-up goal, this model features a circular design, nothing resembling a traditional soccer goal. However, it’s one of the most durable and stable builds on the market.
PUGG uses a slightly deeper net and a thicker frame to make shots that go in feel more rewarding. The net is also of high quality which is one of the reasons why these pop-up soccer goals are slightly more expensive.
The dimensions are quite standard for this price and this design, with the exception of the net which has more depth. The distance between the posts is 4 ft. on the ground. The highest point on the arch is at 2.5 ft.
The rugged construction is pretty much the main highlight. Whether you’re talking about frame quality or net durability, everything feels premium-quality.
To get two PUGG soccer goals, you will have to pay a bit extra. However, you’ll also get one carry bag for each, which makes storage and transportation easier and safer.
Most professional soccer tournaments use the same size goal posts as those used in the World Cup. This means that soccer goals are generally designed following the guidelines from the FIFA rulebook.
FIFA states that goal posts must be set 8 yards apart and at equal distances from the corner flags. The crossbar should be 8 yards long and set at a height no lower or greater than 8 feet from the ground.
Additional dimensions are provided for the thickness of the posts. Both posts and the crossbar should be at most 5 inches in width and depth. Usually, they’re between 4 and 5 inches.
Although kids’ tournaments may allow slight variations on size, it’s important to note that college soccer goals, men’s soccer goals, and women’s soccer goals tend to have the same dimensions as FIFA soccer goals.
What is more likely to differ between leagues, associations, and age groups is the actual shape. FIFA allows goalposts to be rectangular, round, square, or elliptical – as long as the design doesn’t pose a threat to the players, structurally or otherwise.
Still, very few countries adopt the square or elliptical goal post design. Rounded posts are preferred whether you’re talking about international competitions or backyard practice.
The amount of net used or how further back behind the post the net falls doesn’t really matter as long as the net doesn’t interfere with the goalkeeper.
Soccer goals can be made of various combinations of materials. For example, in World Cup matches, goal posts and crossbars are usually made of metal, various steel alloys to be exact. However, the rule book allows for wood and other accepted materials too.
Steel is still the primary choice due to its increased rigidity and how easy it is to mold into the desired shapes. Weatherproof powder coatings are applied to prevent the posts from rusting, seeing as many matches are played in rain and snow.
But soccer goals can also be of plastic. In fact, plastic is often the material of choice in portable soccer goals, kids’ soccer goals, or practice soccer goals. While it’s not nearly as durable and rigid as steel, wood, and other composite materials, it has clear advantages when it comes to pricing and portability.
Another aspect regarding soccer goal materials is the net goal. Nets can be made from jute, hemp, nylon, or other synthetic materials. The materials don’t always matter as much as the actual weave of the mesh and thickness of the net.
A kid-friendly assembly depends more on the size and weight of the goal posts and the frame than the actual design.
Almost all soccer goals follow the same design: two posts, one crossbar, and a small baseline frame to create a draping net. This means that in most cases, there are very few connection points to worry about.
Most practice goals aren’t held together with screws but rather with joints. This allows them to be taken apart within minutes, usually even faster than it takes one to remove the net and fold it away for transport.
Anything involving screws, nuts, and bolts will be more difficult to set up. Although they lack durability, foldable soccer goals are still okay for kids and can be set up without adult supervision.
Permanent installation, regulation-size soccer goals have the goal posts fused to the crossbar. They require specialized teams to be installed. But you don’t have to worry about those since you don’t usually order them online. Instead, you have them made, delivered, and installed, which is clearly not a job for kids.
Professional-size soccer goals are rarely designed to be portable. However, many practice fields have lightweight goal posts that are not spiked in the ground. They are held upwards through a small frame that extends backwards from the posts. That’s also the component responsible for the net depth.
Some of these lightweight aluminum soccer goals can be moved around the field, carried by several people, in order to accommodate various practice exercises. But that doesn’t really make them portable. They’re also not deemed safe enough for professional games.
These are in a way similar to hockey goals. But most of them will also feature an additional support beam between the top corners of the goal and the baseline of the frame. This is also used to provide additional net depth.
There are other types of soccer goals which merit the moniker of portable. For example, kids’ soccer goals or small practice soccer goals are what you might call portable. They are often foldable and can be considerably smaller than regulation soccer goals.
What’s their main purpose? To either set up soccer fields for youngsters or to allow you to practice your precision shots. Note that these types of portable soccer goals are not always well-grounded, and hitting powerful strikes right on the mark can send the goals flying.
Depending on the type of soccer goal you’re looking for, you can expect three types of anchoring systems.
In grounded soccer goals, part of the goal posts is underground. They are inserted and secured in ground sleeves, usually 36” deep into the ground. This provides superior rigidity and stability against powerful strikes or against players coming in contact with the posts.
Non-grounded, frame-type soccer goals don’t really feature an anchoring system. They simply rely on the counterbalance provided by the extended baseline frame to hold the goal posts up for the duration of the game.
Hybrid anchoring systems may offer variations on the above-mentioned systems. However, they’re mostly used to better secure non-grounded soccer goals. In some cases, the anchoring system will allow you to anchor the net and the frame to give the soccer goal better impact resistance.
Sometimes soccer goals don’t come with good anchoring systems or any anchoring systems for that matter. In the case of soccer goals for kids or small indoor goals, portability is often more important than an anchoring system.
Therefore, you can use weights to give the soccer goal stability. Sandbags can work well when placed in key points over the frame.
A soccer goal can be any size you need it to be. Soccer goals for kids tend to be smaller, sometimes even smaller than indoor soccer goals. Teenagers and adults usually play with regulation-sized soccer goals which have 8-foot-high goal posts and a crossbar 8 yards long.
However, these are the dimensions set by FIFA. Tournaments held by football leagues and organizations with no affiliation to FIFA can set up their own rules and guidelines.
Still, almost every country on earth follows FIFA guidelines when it comes to soccer goals so that players don’t have to change their game between playing domestic soccer matches and international soccer matches.
When FIFA came up with the rule of positioning goal posts at equal distances from the corner flags, the idea was simple. Soccer is all about maintaining symmetry and creating an equal playing field for both teams (if you don’t count the different player skill levels).
This means that whether you’re setting up a soccer goal for a pre-teen league or a professional soccer goal, measuring from the outside in is very important. You could install the posts and the frame, loop and secure the net, and then raise the goal into place.
Other times, you have to install the posts and the frame and then worry about the net and additional anchors.
Each soccer goal may come with its own set of instructions, so follow them for a proper and safe installation.
One thing worth mentioning here is providing the goalie with enough room inside the goal. Sometimes the net may not fall further enough from the goal line. This can limit the goalie’s movements.
There’s no particular trick for dealing with folding pop-up soccer goals other than keeping one foot firm on the bottom support frame.
Each pop-up soccer goal may come with its own unique design and therefore feature unique installation instructions.
If you want to make a soccer goal net with minimal amount of work, you can always buy some deer netting and cut it to size. Leave a bit of extra net in both width and length. Extra width allows you to loop the net around the goal posts, enough to give the net extra rigidity and stopping power.
The extra length allows you to have enough coverage on top. It also ensures that you can pull back the net far enough to loop it under the frame while also giving enough room for the keeper to operate inside the goal.
Of course, other alternatives would involve making a net from scratch. The soccer net is not a fine mesh, so the actual work is not too delicate or intricate, but it is tedious as you will need a few feet of net.
You can use paracord or even your garden-variety rope to create a decent net. Chains are also sometimes used on turf fields, just as they’re used on outdoor basketball courts. However, they pose a certain degree of danger to the keeper or any other player that might fly into them.
Depending on your activity, you will have to choose a very specific model. Not all of the best soccer goals are interchangeable for any type of weather conditions, games, drills, or fields.
Our No. 1 pick comes courtesy of GOLME. It involves a very appealing combination of features such as affordability, ease of use, and enough durability to satisfy soccer fans of all ages. In addition, you don’t just get a single goal but a pair.
However, the Step2 soccer goal also deserves some consideration. Even though it’s just one goal, the variety of accessories and its versatility are worth every penny.