Updated Feb 15, 2024 - Sports

Grab your boots and meet us at the pitch: A soccer glossary

Charlotte FC players huddle up during the home opener at Bank of America Stadium.

Photo: Andy Weber/Axios

Charlotte FC kicks off its third Major League Soccer season at Bank of America Stadium on Feb. 24 at 7:30pm vs. New York City FC.

What's happening: The club surpassed 40,000 tickets sold for the game, Charlotte FC president Joe LaBue tells Axios.

State of play: There's lots of terminology to keep track of in soccer: pitch vs. field and kit vs. uniform; along with MLS specifics such as designated player and general allocation money.

  • There are lifelong fans who don’t understand it all.
Charlotte FC locker room. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

Here is a soccer glossary ahead of Charlotte FC’s upcoming season.

Boots = cleats

Campaign = season

Crest = logo

Clean sheet = Shutout; for instance, “Goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina kept a clean sheet.” 

Club = team

Designated player (MLS-specific): Often referred to as DP, players who aren’t subject to standard MLS salary cap rules, allowing Charlotte to spend as much as team owner David Tepper is willing to shell out.

Draw = tie

FC = football club

General allocation money (MLS-specific) = Often referred to as GAM — it creates more salary cap space for teams, but it’s essentially Monopoly money you can trade. No one is buying a house with this cash, but it does play a role in building a team.

Hat trick = three goals scored by one player; for instance, “Enzo Copetti scored a hat trick for Charlotte.” 

Kit = uniform

Manager = head coach

Nil = zero; for instance, "the score was nil-nil."

One point = a draw (a tie, see above)

Pitch = field

Squad = team

Supporters = fans

Table = standings, where they rank in the league, such as first place

Target allocation money (MLS-specific) = Often referred to as TAM. Similar to GAM, but TAM is used on higher profile players.

Three points = a win

My thought bubble: I’ve covered this game at every level in Charlotte. To fellow soccer junkies, I beg of you: Set your judgement aside.

  • Teach your neighbors instead of mocking them. Help them understand the game. 
Charlotte FC crest. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

Go deeper: Where to watch Charlotte FC

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in February 2022 and was updated on Feb. 15, 2024 to reflect the new season. 

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