What is a Brace in Soccer?

What is a Brace in Soccer?

What is a brace in soccer? A “brace” is when a player scores two goals in a single game.

Following a brace is a hat trick where a player scores three goals.

It does not matter which half of the soccer game the two goals are scored at. Two goals equals a brace in soccer. It’s that straightforward.

But, like many other topics on this site, we’ll take a deeper look at the history of brace and the all-time European leaders.

History of a Brace

The term brace is more common in European soccer.

In American soccer, you’ll often hear a player who scored two goals as simply “he or she scored two goals” (not typically a brace).

The word ‘brace’ comes from the Old English language and signifies a pair of something that was shot down. This was an old hunting term. For example, “Yesterday, I hunted and shot a brace of birds in the pasture.” The Hunter killed two birds during his hunting trip.

The term transitioned into the soccer scene back in the 19th century where it continued to gain popularity.

Strikers often ‘hunt’ for goals and can come away with one, two, three or more. Is this a stretch in the use of the term? Probably is! But, it stuck.

In today’s game, soccer fans will hear the term “brace” during any professional match where a player scores two goals.

Is 4 Goals a Brace in Soccer?

Nope! If a player scores four goals in a single soccer match, it is not considered two braces or a double brace.

Instead, four goals is known as a ‘haul’.

Again, like many other soccer terms, it is not official and has stuck with the soccer community over time.

Who Has the Most Braces in Soccer History

There’s no doubt that in the professional ranks, getting a brace is fairly uncommon. To score a single goal in a competitive match is impressive but multiple goals can be a difference maker.

Most Braces in the 21st Century (Europe)

Messi Goal BarcelonaThese talented players have the most braces in their professional career including goals on their national team.

  1. Lionel Messi
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo
  3. Robert Lewandowski
  4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
  5. Karim Benzema
  6. Luis Suarez
  7. Edinson Cavani
  8. Sergio Aguero
  9. Edin Dzeko
  10. Wayne Rooney

When all is said and done, this list could remain as is for a while but there is young talent that could eventually jump into the top five.


Scoring a brace in a match is very impressive. For the most talented players in the world – including youth soccer players – they would rather strive for the coveted hat trick.

Now you know the term ‘brace’ in soccer. And, you’ll better understand it when you hear the announcers yelling that “he bagged his third brace of the season!”.

If you are a Striker, go for the brace or hat trick next time you are on the pitch!

Beau Bridges - Soccer Novo Hey 👋 I’m Beau. A proud Dad, former coach and soccer enthusiast. I continue to love the game of soccer today the same way I did when I was 7. I created soccernovo.com to share what I know about the game as well as provide a platform so other parents can learn more about youth soccer in the U.S.

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