soccer player kicking the ball to score

What Is a Brace in Soccer

Published date: December 12, 2021

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Are you just starting out or trying to get into the soccer scene, but feel like you cannot last more than a minute talking to some of those super fans before they start throwing around some confusing terminology you have never heard of? Well, fear not, because you came to just the right place. Keep reading while we tackle the meaning behind “scoring a brace”.

What Does “Scoring a Brace” Mean?

Soccer, or football for those in Europe and the rest of the world, is a game that on the surface isn’t too overly complicated. It only gets complicated when the players, commentators, or fans get into the real nitty-gritty of the sport. One example is when they start talking about “braces”. No, not the kind you maybe had on your teeth as a teenager, and not the kind you use for sprained arms and legs.

No, in soccer a “brace”, or rather “scoring a brace”, is used to refer to when a player scores two goals against the opposition in one match. If you are familiar with the term “hat trick” then you can see how they are basically the same thing. For those who don’t know what a “hat trick” means, it is similar to scoring a brace, only instead of scoring two goals in one match, the player scores three goals.

Players like Ronaldo are famous for achieving a lot of hat tricks during most of the games he plays. Oddly enough, scoring a hat trick, which you would imagine to be harder, is a lot more common than scoring a brace for whatever reason. Although this does not necessarily apply to elite players such as Ronaldo and Leo Messi.

Origin of the Term “Brace”

It is believed that the word or phrase can be traced back to Old English, where the usage of the word “brace” was applied whenever a hunter killed, shot, or caught any pair of the same animal during a hunt. Brace was and is essentially just a synonym for pair, and can still be seen and found in older English pieces of literature, plays, and in super rare cases in films.

A notable example is in the second Lord of the Rings film, The Two Towers, where the character, Samwise Gamgee, refers to a pair of killed rabbits as a “brace of coneys” - coney simply being a British word for rabbit. Because of this, you are most likely to hear brace when watching English games or listening to English fans and commentators. However, because they are just over the ocean, the word is still common enough stateside.

That said, the root of the word “brace” is different in meaning to words used in phrases such as “brace yourself”, which means to prepare for impact or a force that is about to collide into you. The reason for this difference in meaning likely stems from the fact that the “brace” used in hunting and soccer/football is possibly derived from an Anglo-French root, where the word referred to a pair of arms.

This is a justifiable theory when we see that the modern French word for “arms” is “les bras”, literally, “the arms”, which fairly resembles the word “brace”. The replacement of C’s into S’s is quite common when you look at the evolution of old European languages.

Soccer ball in goal

When Do You Qualify to Score a Brace?

Now back to soccer. It does not matter when the player landed his two shots. They could have been made consecutively (right after one another), or it could have been the second and fourth goal for his or her team.

It also does not matter if the player scored one goal during the first half and the second during the second half, or if they scored both during the first or second half. All that matters is that the player scored two goals by the time the game/match ends for it to be called a brace.

How to Score a Brace

Unfortunately, there is no answer to such a question other than that you need to practice again and again. Scoring a brace isn’t like performing a backflip; it isn’t a skill or trick you can just do whenever. It’s simply a term you use to describe two scored goals. So, if you want to score a brace, then you just need to keep practicing to get better. Simple as that, unfortunately.


And that is basically what “scoring a brace” means. See, that was not too complicated! The important thing to remember when you are just starting to dip your toes into the world of soccer is to take things one at a time. Today you learned what a brace means; tomorrow, you will know what a “clean sheet” means. Hopefully, this was a helpful and informative explanation!

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