Soccer Writer's Style Guide


North America's first and only soccer-specific style guide

Player biographies

Follow AP style for names, ages, heights and weights

  • Names: Always use full names on first reference. Use surnames thereafter.
  • Age: Always use figures. Hyphenate when using an age as a noun, or as an adjective before a noun. Alternatively, set it off after the noun as a non-essential clause.
    • Example: Donovan is 27 years old. Or: The 27-year-old forward is the United States’ leading scorer. Or: Donovan, 27, is the United States’ leading scorer.
  • Height: Always use figures, and spell out feet and incheswhen writing copy. Hyphenate when using a height as an adjective before a noun.
    • Example: Peter Crouch is 6 feet 7 inches tall. Or: The 6-foot-7-inch striker plays for England.
  • Weight: Always use figures, and write out pounds. Follow the style for heights.

All-Star (n; adj.), All-Star game

  • Only capitalize game when writing the official title, such as the 2010 MLS All-Star Game.

backup (n; adj.), back up (v)

Designated Player

draft, SuperDraft

  • Identify a drafted player as a draftee.

first XI

  • Indicates the starting lineup. Use roman numerals.


  • Generally, use the official MLS term Homegrown (one word, capitalized) when identifying players added through this league initiative. However, freely write the adjective homegrown (not capitalized) when casually referring to a local player.

loanee (n), on loan (adj.)

national team call-up (n), call up (intr. v)



  • Use a hyphen to distinguish from resign.

standout (n; adj.)

veteran (n; adj.)

  • Avoid the hyperbole legend.

See also: MLS tournaments and awards, Numbers, Players and positions, Staff and front office


Filed under: Player biographies