Sieve [goaltender in soccer]

Xavier da Silva

Senior Member
Hello everyone,

I already know that "sieve" is American slang for a "very bad goaltender". My question: is it used in soccer in American English?

a. He's a sieve. I don't know why he still plays soccer.
b. No, he's not a sieve. He's a great goaltender.

Thank you in advance!
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    It's a metaphor, not an official term! So it's quite possible a commentator may refer to a poor goalie as a sieve. I would, however, have no idea how often that might happen:D


    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Soccer is way down the list in terms of popularity of sports in the US, although it is growing. Baseball, (American) football, basketball and perhaps (ice) hockey could be considered the major sports. This is in contrast to the rest of the world's love of soccer - and may explain your comment.


    Senior Member
    USA English
    First of all, we (AE) do use the simile "leaks like a sieve." A sieve, obviously, has more holes than solid material and is not designed to contain anything liquid.

    Is it used in AE for soccer? I never heard it. Not when my children were playing the game and not when I was responsible for news coverge of a professional soccer team here. That doesn't mean it's not used, but doesn't seem to have reached the cliché stage that many sportswriters depend upon.
    Soccer isn't all that popular among men.
    Then how do you explain the North American Soccer League? :rolleyes:
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