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Soccer Thesaurus

Sports commentators in the US would describe a point gained in the most literal way: “He shoots, he scores”. British commentators, by contrast, are keen to light up your thesaurus to describe the same action.

The 2014 World Cup is perfect evidence. Ian Darke (and Martin Tyler before him) make even the most banal occurrence, fascinating, solely via their choice of language. Below are some of the standouts thus far, with their US translations (will continue to add as the tournament progresses).

British Commentary - American Commentary
Scans for a willing accomplice - Looks for someone to pass to
Makes his stately way forward - The player walks
Taken from a position of menace - A free kick close to the goal
Conducting the hassling - Playing defense
Door still very much ajar - There is a...

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