What is a Brace in Soccer? (Complete Explanation)
The term "brace" is often used by soccer pundits, players, and coaches.
If you watch or listen to soccer matches regularly, you might hear this term.
It’s most frequently used during English soccer matches by British commentators and players
For soccer fans living outside of England, “brace” can be quite confusing to understand.
A brace in soccer is when one player scores two goals in the same match.
This article will delve deeper into the origin of the word and give some examples of how it’s used by commentators during matches.
By the end of the article, hopefully you will have a clear understanding of a brace.
What is a Brace in Soccer?
To review, a brace in soccer is when one player scores two goals in the same match.
The goals don't need to be scored consecutively, nor do they need to be in the same half. Other goals can be scored in between the player's two goals and the “brace” still counts.
Team A wins a match 3-2. One player on team A scores the 1st goal of the game and the 3rd goal of the game. This player has completed a brace even though the goals weren't consecutive.
And even if the opposing team scores goals in between, the brace still counts for the player who scored two goals.
If a player nets three goals in a match then this would be classified as a hat-trick, not a brace.
Penalty shootout goals, which occur after the final whistle, don't count towards a brace.
If a player scores one goal during the match and one goal in the penalty shootout, he or she hasn't achieved a brace for that match.
Both goals must occur before the final whistle.
Finally, penalty kick goals that occur during the match count towards a brace because they occur during match play.
Next let's look at the origins of the term.
What Are the Origins of the Term “Brace”?
The term 'brace' has been used in the English language for centuries.
The word has French origins: 'pair of arms; or pair'.
Later on a brace was used to refer to two animals which had been hunted and killed. A hunter would come back from a successful trip with a “brace” of rabbits or a brace of grouse.
This term was used in English for centuries before it ever became soccer jargon.
A brace made its way into soccer diction as the sport gained popularity in the late nineteenth century. Around this time, the phrase 'scoring a brace of goals' started to gain in popularity.
The term crossed over from hunting to soccer, as players on the pitch were hunting for goals.
Eventually, the phrase shortened to a brace, or 'to score a pair of goals’.
(Further Reading: 350+ Soccer Terms All Coaches and Players Must Know (A – Z Guide))
How to Use Brace in a Conversation
Here are some examples of how commentators, coaches, players, and fans use the term brace:
'Yesterday Messi scored his fifth brace of the season as Barcelona swept Granada away 4 – 0'.
'With that goal, Welbeck has scored his second brace of the season and with ten minutes left still has a chance to get his hat-trick'.
'On the last day of the season, Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick while his strike partner, Hernandez, got a brace for Man United'.
'Unfortunately, Aguero missed out on his hat-trick in the last minute of the match and only ended up with a brace'.
'With that brace, Ronaldo has set a new record of scoring two or more goals in ten consecutive matches'.
'Everton moved up to fifth place in the table as Calvert-Lewin registered yet another brace of goals in their match against Southampton'.
Hopefully, these examples help you to understand the correct context in which to use brace.
Well, there you have it, the definition, origins and examples of the term brace in soccer.
While it seems like a strange term when you first hear it, using it in conversations will soon become second nature as you refer to players who scored two goals in a game.
While it is certainly satisfying scoring a brace in soccer, players who score them are usually then instantly on the hunt for a third goal so that they can complete their hat-trick!