WTF is ... a 'set piece' in soccer?

Midfielder Gabriel Gomez (above) is the Unions direct free-kick guru. Teammate Roger Torres typically handles indirect free kicks.
Midfielder Gabriel Gomez (above) is the Unions direct free-kick guru. Teammate Roger Torres typically handles indirect free kicks.
Posted: April 10, 2012

In soccer, "set piece" is a catch-all term for any situation where the ball is put back in play after a stoppage, usually following a foul. The most common set piece is a free kick, a stationary kick from where the foul occurred. Easy enough, right? But just to vex sports fans on this side of the pond, free kicks come in two flavors. There's the direct free kick, in which the kicker is allowed[] to score a goal . . . directly. And there's the indirect type, where the kicker needs to pass it (with his foot, remember) to another player first, or at least have it touch another guy before it enters the net. Most clubs have specific players designated to handle free kicks - and thus, set pieces.

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