Can goalies score in soccer? Yes, they can score goals for their team!
While goalkeepers are responsible for preventing the opposing team from scoring, they can score goals like any other player on the field.
Key Takeaways From This Article:
- Goalkeepers in soccer can score for their team but it is rare to see on an 11v11 field.
- Goalkeepers can score in many ways including a free kick, corner kick, or free play.
- There have been famous goals scored by goalies in professional matches (jump to see).
While it is rare, sometimes a goalie will join the attack if a team desperately needs a goal.
For example, if a team is down by 1 and needs a goal to tie it up in the final minutes, the team may decide to pull their goalie on a corner kick. As we know, soccer games can end in a tie but in tournaments or playoffs, one goal could mean elimination.
In this article, we’ll address the rules and strategies surrounding goalies from scoring as well as the best moments for keepers.
How Can a Goalkeeper Score?
When a goalkeeper has the ball at their feet, they are essentially a field player. If they wanted, they could dribble up the field and score a goal. As you can imagine, this doesn’t really happen in reality!
Additionally, goalkeepers can assist their team’s attackers by passing the ball up the field. Some teams can catch the defense sleeping and take advantage of it by kicking a long ball from the keeper.
At the youth level, some leagues may have rules around this that prevent goalies from kicking it from one end to the other on a smaller field. I remember when my son was U8, they weren’t allowed to drop kick it past half field. This keeps the game a little more organized and requires soccer skills to get up the field.
Can a Goalie Score on a Penalty Kick?
Yes, a goalkeeper can take a penalty kick in soccer.
It is rare for a goalkeeper to take a penalty kick as they are usually not considered to be the best players to take such a shot.
In most cases, teams will choose their best penalty takers, who are usually forwards or midfielders, to take the penalty kick.
However, in some cases, if a team has used all of their substitutions and their goalkeeper is the best option left, they may choose to have the goalkeeper take the penalty kick. Again, this is super rare!
Can a Keeper Score on Corner Kicks and Free Kicks?
During a corner kick or free kick, the goalkeeper can go up for the ball and attempt to score with a header or take a shot on the net.
This is a risky move as it leaves the goal wide open to counterattacks, but it can also be a game-changer if the goalkeeper manages to score.
Situational soccer is in play here. It may be a good idea if a U12 team is down by one goal, has a goalie who is 6 feet and there are only 30 seconds left. Otherwise, an extra player in the box may do more harm than good.
Open Play and Counterattacks
During open play, the goalkeeper can leave their penalty area and join their team’s attack.
If the goalkeeper decides to venture forward, they must be cautious and aware of the opposing team’s counterattacks.
If their team does lose possession of the soccer ball, the goalie must immediately sprint back to their net to prevent the opposing team from scoring.
Famous Goals from Goalies
Although it’s rare, there have been several instances where goalkeepers have scored crucial goals in soccer games. Here are a few of the most famous goalie goals:
- Rogerio Ceni: The Brazilian goalkeeper is the all-time leading scorer among goalkeepers, with an incredible 131 goals to his name. He scored his 100th goal in 2011 and is known for his ability to score on free kicks.
- Jimmy Glass: In 1999, English goalkeeper Jimmy Glass scored a last-minute goal for Carlisle United to save them from relegation from the Football League. The goal secured a 2-1 win and is still remembered as one of the most dramatic moments in soccer history.
- Hans-Jörg Butt: The German goalkeeper is known for his penalty-taking ability and has scored 32 goals in his career. He famously scored a penalty against his former team, Bayern Munich, while playing for Bayer Leverkusen in 2010.
While it doesn’t happen often, we love to see the recognition goalies get when scoring a goal. Let’s face it, it usually takes a clean sheet for goalies to get recognized for their play. A goal can change it all.
While soccer goalies are primarily tasked with preventing the opposing team from scoring, they are also allowed to score goals themselves.
In fact, there have been several instances throughout soccer history where goalies have scored game-changing goals for their teams.
According to Law 16 of the International Football Association Board (IFAB), a goalie can score a goal directly from a goal kick. However, there are certain restrictions on how a goalie can score a goal. For instance, they must follow the same rules as any other player on the field. This means they can’t use their hands to score.
I’ve been coaching and watching youth soccer for the past decade and I’ve only seen a goalie score on two occasions. The first one was off a corner kick at the end of regulation. The second was a penalty shootout in a Father’s Day tournament. On both occasions, I had to give kudos to the keeper. It’s fun seeing the position get some accolades.
Overall, while scoring goals is not the primary responsibility of a soccer goalie, they are certainly capable of doing so!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, goalies can score just like any other soccer player.
Yes, a goalkeeper can get an assist in soccer if their kick or throw leads to a goal.
No, a goalkeeper cannot score a goal by throwing the ball into the opposing team’s net.