* gran galardia – A well-executed play
* gresca – A fight between players
* guardavallas – Another name for goalkeeper
* hacer fútbol – To create plays
* hacerse de la pelota – Used when a player takes control of a ball
* hincha – A soccer fan
* horas fútbol – Refers to the time on the football field.
* impartir justicia – To officiate a game
* infracción – A breaking of the soccer rules
* intervención quirúrgica – When they operate on a soccer player
* ir y venir – The constant attacking and defending that occurs during a game. This term can also refer to a game that has a lot of action.
* jornada – The term used to refer to the date when games are played.
* la alfombra mágica – Term used to refer to artificial turf.
* la bicicleta – A type of soccer play where a player confuses his rival by moving his feet over the top of the ball…sort of like pedaling a bicycle.
* la caprichosa – A term sometimes used to refer to the soccer ball.
* la cueva del monstruo – The Saprissa soccer stadium
* la marianela – A type of maneuver performed by a soccer player when he has the ball.
* la pecosa – Another name for the soccer ball. It literally means the one with freckles and is used to refer to the black spots on the ball.
* la rabona – Used when a player kicks the ball crossing one leg behind the other.
* la tricolor – Tricolor refers to the three colors on the Costa Rican flag or national soccer team.
* la tuvo y la dejo ir – When a player is in position to score and fails to do it. Or when a team has the game one and then loses it.
* legionarios – Term used to describe Costa Rican players who play for foreign teams.
* liga de las estrellas – The nickname for the Spanish Soccer League
* línea de fondo – The end line of the football field.
* línea de cuatro/tres/cinco – A defensive play performed by three, four or five players.
* mamón – A player who always “hogs” the ball
* marco virgen – When the goal keeper hasn’t been scored on.
* medular – The backbone of a team
* mejenga – An informal pick-up type soccer game.
* meter el bus – When the defense clogs an area with a lot of players to try and keep the other team from scoring.
* montar el mariachi – When a player does a series of plays kicking the ball over an opponents head and still maintains control of the ball.
* ni mandrake el mago – When the ball enters the goal and the goalie has no chance of stopping it.
* no apto para cardiacos – A “nail-biter” or exciting game. The term “de infarto” is also used. The latter means that the game is so exciting that it can cause a heart attack.
* nueve metros quince – The official distance from the goal where the “barrier” or line of players has to stand when a free shot is kicked.
* once pasos – Penalty point
* onceno – Name given to a team with eleven players
* orquestador – A coach or player who sets up or designs plays.
* paral de mano (derecha – izquierda) – Right or left goal post
* partido de trámite – A game that has no affect on the standings
* patear el mundo – When a player kicks the dirt instead of the ball.
* pegarle con rencor – The action of kicking the ball violently
* peinar el balón – To hit (tap) the ball with the head and not using much force.
* permuta – Substituting a player
* piernas frescas – When a player who is “fresh (rested)” enters the game with “fresh legs.”
* pintar de amarillo – When a player gets a yellow card
* piscinazo – When a player hits the ground intentionally to try and impress the referee.
* pivotear – When a player gets the ball with his back to the goal and then passes it to another player.
* plancheta – When a player tries to kick a rival using the cleats of his soccer shoes.
* plano individual – Term used to describe the performance of an individual player
* plasmar la idea del técnico – To understand the coaches instructions.
* poner toda la carne en el asador – To go for broke or go for it all.
* ponerse el overall – Term used when a player performs well.
* pressing – When one team is putting pressure on another and closing off the passing lanes.
* punto tragico – A penalty point
* puntuar – The accumulation of points on the scoreboard
* quedarle grande el partido – When a player has “big shoes” to fill during a game (figuratively speaking).
* quedarle grande la camiseta – . Used when a player does not play well or live up to expectations.
* quemarropa – . Term used to describe a goal made from a short distance. Quema ropa means “point blank.”
* rajar al rival – To pass the ball between a rival’s legs.
* recorte – To strip your rival of the ball by cutting him off.
* reducto – A stadium
* referato – Refers to the four referees of a game
* reflejos felinos – Terms used when a goalie has excellent reflexes. They say he has the reflexes of a “cat.”
* reiteración – The playback or repetition of a play.
* remate – A shot at the goal
* reparto del balón – Term used to describe the movement of the ball between two players.
* repechaje – . A special extra playoff game that takes place so that a team can qualify for the World Cup.
* resorteo – When the ball is hit with the head by jumping high.
* retaguardia – The last line of defense, either a player or the goalkeeper
* robar las espaldas – Said when a forward gets the ball behind the defense in the correct position on the field.
* sacar agua del bote – Used when a player or either team that is defending kicks the ball in any direction to avoid danger.
* sacar la faena – Used when a team or player accomplishes an objective.
* sacar los tres puntos – To win a game.
* sacarla con la cutícula de los dedos – When a goal keep barely makes a play.
* Salir a cazar mariposas – When a goal keeper fails to make a play.
* salir jugando elegantemente con el balón –To handle the soccer ball well.
* salirse del libreto – When a player does more than he is expected to without following the game plan.
* sanción – A disciplinary measure taken against a player.
* silbatero – The central referee. Comes from the verb Silbar which means to blow a whistle.
* sombrerito – “The Hat Trick” or when a player passes the ball over an opponent’s head and still maintains control of the ball.
* stopper – A defensive player who plays behind the first line of defense.
* suplente – . A substitute player off the bench.
* tapar la salida del rival – A defensive tactic to pressure a team that is trying to move down the field of play.
* taquito – Any play where the ball hits a player’s heel.
* técnico– Another name for coach
* tener gol – Said when a player scores.
* terreno de juego – The playing field
* testarazo – A header or hitting the ball with one’s head. The term cabezazo is also used.
* tiempos del partido – Used when a player knows how to attack and keep possession of the ball.
* tiempos suplementarios – Overtime
* timonel – Another name for coach.
* tirar un caño – The act of passing the ball between an opponent’s legs.
* tocar en corto – A short pass of the ball.
* tocar la gloria – To score
* tomar la batuta del equipo – Used when either the coach of player leads the team.
* transitar – Running while moving the ball.
* trastabilleo – When a player trips over his own feet.
* trazo largo – Passing the ball at least 30 meters.
* tres cuartos de cancha – Term used to describe the rival’s section of the soccer field.
* triangulación – . A term used to describe fast passes of the ball between two players.
* valuarte – An important player
* vamos al fútbol – The equivalent of “Play ball!” to indicate that the game has started.
* violacion de la regla once – Offsides
* vocacion ofensiva/defensiva – . A player who has both offensive and defensive responsibilities.
* volante de llegada – A player whose responsibility is to attack.
* volantear – A verb that refers to the duties of the midfielder.
Volante The midfielder
* volantes mixtos – A midfielder who attacks and efends during a game
* vuelo supremo – Term used to describe the goalkeeper when he is in the air trying to stop a ball.
* zaga – Defensive player
* zapatazo – A stupid or inaccurate shot
* zona de candela – Hot zone of the field