Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-28-2019, 11:04 PM
Velocity Velocity is online now
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 13,229
Is goalkeeper (still) considered an undesirable position to play?

I've heard jokes or serious talk about "Last who arrives and is late, plays keeper!" or "The fat guy has to play keeper!" in amateur soccer which has always baffled me because I've always enjoyed playing keeper, from a young age, and thought of it as one of the funnest positions to play.

I understand that offense appeals to most fans (the heroes are people like Messi, Ronaldo, Kobe Bryant, Tom Brady, not those who play defense) but is goalkeeping (be it hockey, soccer or otherwise) generally seen as a desirable or undesirable position to play?
Old 01-29-2019, 02:18 AM
russian heel russian heel is offline
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,651
When I played soccer or street hockey in high school I always volunteered to play goalie----I figured it was the position where the least talented athlete could have the most impact on the game. It also bought be street cred because most of the tIme the other so called athletes were too "pussy" to take the spot!

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Old 01-29-2019, 02:43 AM
Atamasama's Avatar
Atamasama Atamasama is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 2,805
When I played soccer in high school the goalie was really important. It was a unique position and if you sucked, it made it hard to win. It wasn’t as flashy as, say, a striker scoring goals but it was a big deal.

Me, I was a midfielder which truly was the “red-headed stepchild” position that drew the least talented players (which is why I played there). Though I did find a talent for ball-stealing eventually which at least meant I did something useful now and then.
Old 01-29-2019, 03:15 AM
Chisquirrel Chisquirrel is offline
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 2,292
My goddaughter plays goalie. Thus, it's obviously the most difficult and demanding position on the pitch. Given that my entire soccer experience after elementary school town youth leagues was a single year playing forward for ISU's soccer club, I'll admit I have no experience in regards to the sport. But she says it's hard, and I believe her.

Last edited by Chisquirrel; 01-29-2019 at 03:15 AM. Reason: Changed a nut
Old 01-29-2019, 03:53 AM
AK84 AK84 is online now
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 15,837
Goal keeper is typically the most important player on the pitch. S/he has a view of the entire field and can tell what adjustments to make.
Old 01-29-2019, 05:09 AM
Kobal2's Avatar
Kobal2 Kobal2 is online now
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 17,244
Heh, I used to want to play keeper so badly (and quit soccer training when they insisted on me being on the pitch, then keeping me off it 'cause I suuuucked). No running, no getting shoved and putting them Nintendo-trained hand-eye coordination & reflexes to good use ? Hell yeah, sign me up, coach. But the soccer guys didn't wanna hear it, so, goodbye soccer.

I eventually wound up designated goalie in high school, but in handball. Tending goal in handball is even easier, 'cause the goal is tiny and the opposing players can't get close enough to fuck with you and dribble rings around your useless ass. I was so good at it, the kids eventually decided to stop trying to score at all while I was in and instead would go for powershots at my head to try and get me off the field. Fuckers.
--- ---
I'm not sure how to respond to this, but that's never stopped me before.
Old 01-29-2019, 10:10 AM
DSYoungEsq DSYoungEsq is offline
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Indian Land, S Carolina
Posts: 14,116
I would say that, in America, the general viewpoint of the position in games of soccer has changed. When I started involving myself in coaching/refereeing (about 1990), the average soccer coach was a dad who had little notion of the game. He would take his roughly 10 to 15 kids (depending on age group) and find the fastest, most talented with the ball at their feet and make them an "attacker", and then rotate the rest through the other positions until each one gravitated to some spot that they sucked at the least. It didn't always produce stellar goalkeeping.

But by about the mid-1990s, after the success of the American Men's National Team, you began to see more intelligent coaching. Our AYSO league held pre-season coaching clinics each year, and the result of that was impressive. The Under-8s (even the Under-6s!) started playing real positions. Gone were the labels of "attacker" and "defender"; forwards, wings, midfielders and fullbacks started being used. Fullbacks and center backs started moving up to the half-way line when their team was attacking (gasp!), rather than staying rooted to their penalty area. And along with these changes came a new understanding of the importance of having a strong 'keeper.

MY method of choosing a 'keeper has always been the same: if it's an under-8 or under-6 team, rotate the team through the position, so that everyone has a chance to understand the importance and to develop a liking for it. After that, find the most aggressive, fearless player you have, stick them in goal, and tell them it's their mission to keep a clean sheet. Not shockingly, a goodly number of these players are also nascent strikers; it's not unusual to see them play both roles up through their high school years.
Old 01-29-2019, 12:16 PM
GargoyleWB's Avatar
GargoyleWB GargoyleWB is offline
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Somewhere cold 'n squishy
Posts: 5,364
Originally Posted by AK84 View Post
Goal keeper is typically the most important player on the pitch. S/he has a view of the entire field and can tell what adjustments to make.
I've played keeper for many years. My only frustration with the position is that you are inevitably scapegoated for team failures by someone. If I miss a save I should have stopped, fine, that's on me. If you think I should have called out an audible realignment to the mid-fielders and expected all of the players to respond to my 3-dimensional chess tactics on the fly, then may the tears of your whinging be lost in the pit stains of your jersey. Keepers don't have some master insight into tactics and field presence that any other player doesn't have, I'm just as concussion-addled as the rest of you.
"He was shortish. And oldish. And brownish. And mossy. And he spoke with a voice that was sharpish and bossy."
Old 01-29-2019, 12:57 PM
Quercus Quercus is offline
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: temperate forest
Posts: 7,008
I played a fair amount of keeper in youth soccer. IMHO, facing shots/crosses was fun as heck. The other 97% of the time, sitting around watching, wasn't. As an adult, I'd play keeper reluctantly if necessary, but would rather get to run around.
Old 01-29-2019, 01:44 PM
mcgato mcgato is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Hoboken
Posts: 1,305
In grad school, circa mid 1990s, a group of us were going to go out for a beer late in the afternoon. One guy said that he couldn't go because he had soccer practice. The German guy in the group said, "Why do you need to practice? You play goalkeeper." We laughed.
Old 01-29-2019, 03:30 PM
Dale Sams Dale Sams is offline
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 4,339
Originally Posted by mcgato View Post
In grad school, circa mid 1990s, a group of us were going to go out for a beer late in the afternoon. One guy said that he couldn't go because he had soccer practice. The German guy in the group said, "Why do you need to practice? You play goalkeeper." We laughed.
"Haahahaha....let that guy through next game so i can break his leg."


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:46 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to:

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017