Soccer Injuries

Top 5 Injuries for Male Soccer Players

Parents in Vaughan are always asking if soccer is a good idea for their children learning a new sport? Our response is it always a great choice! Soccer helps develop great coordination, agility, team play, and cardio endurance.

The next question we get is what type of injuries we commonly see in soccer. Being a sports Physiotherapy clinic we see alot of injuries coming from soccer players so it is important to know the potential injury risks you face. When looking at the research a study with a big population is referenced below with the injury risks specifically for male collegiate players.

Soccer players will most likely experience ankle sprains in practice or game settings

In order to determine the most common injuries in men’s soccer and how they occur, researchers reviewed 15 years of injury surveillance data from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Over the 15 years of the study, 6,693 injuries from more than 22 ,000 games and 6,281 injuries from more than 62 ,000 practices were reported.1

The general findings illustrate how practices and games can differ in risks for players:

  • The injury rate during games was 4 times higher than during practices.
  • Game injuries were often contact injuries between players, while practice injuries were often not.
  • In both games and practices, more than 60% of injuries were in the lower body.

The Most Common Injury: Ankle Sprain

Accounting for 17% of all injuries in both games and practices, a sprained ankle by far the most common injury for male soccer players. This makes sense, as ankle sprains are often caused when you make a sudden stop or change of direction, causing the ankle to twist unnaturally.

Ankle sprains are seldom serious injuries and can usually be treated by RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).

However, ankles that have not thoroughly healed are vulnerable to re-sprains. In fact, recurrent ankle sprains accounted for 24% of the total sprains in the survey.

Other Top Soccer Injuries for Men

Muscle-tendon injuries to the upper leg- quad and hamstring

Muscle-tendon injuries to the hip or pelvis- sports hernia

Knee injuries- mainly ACL

Concussionbecause of the likelihood of player-on-player contact during games, concussions were 14 times more likely to occur during a game than during practice.

The researchers concluded their survey by noting that, since player contact accounted for a majority of the injuries during soccer games, the best way to prevent these injuries is to make sure the rules around aggressive game moves like charging and tackling—particularly slide tackling—are followed and enforced.


  1. Descriptive Epidemiology of Collegiate Men’s Soccer Injuries: National Collegiate Athletic Association Injury Surveillance System, 1988–1989 Through 2002–2003. . J Athl Train. 2007 Apr-Jun;

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