What Does FC Mean In Soccer? Get the Lowdown on Club Lingo

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Do you know your FCs from your FIFAs? Are you puzzled by all of these abbreviations? Soccer is filled with acronyms like FC, but what does FC actually mean?

Here we’ll take a deep dive into this soccer term and explore exactly what FC stands for in relation to one of the world’s favorite sports.

This guide will help amateur players understand important terms as well as help seasoned veterans brush up on their knowledge. Let’s kick off!

What does FC mean in soccer?

The acronym FC stands for Football Club.

In Europe, where soccer is referred to as football, this abbreviation is used by teams to signify that they are a part of an organized club or organization.

It’s similar to how American Football teams use the abbreviation NFL (National Football League). 

Most professional soccer teams have some form of FC in their name.

Some of the most recognizable ones include Manchester United FC, Real Madrid CF (Club Futbol), and FC Barcelona.

Women’s professional soccer teams use this term as well; one example being Chelsea F.C. Women.

This doesn’t just apply to professional teams either;  when it comes to youth soccer teams, you’ll also find lots of FCs in the name.

In some cases, instead of using an entire soccer club name a team might just use the initials or an abbreviated form of the club’s name such as YFC (Young Football Club) or AFC (Amateur Football Club).

In other words, FC is simply a convenient way to say “soccer club” without having to spell out the whole phrase every time.

Regardless of what level of play is involved, when someone mentions FC they’re talking about a soccer team that has its roots in a formal organization and which plays under certain rules and regulations. 

So when you hear someone mention an FC team or wear apparel with “FC” printed on it, they are referring to a professional soccer team or club. 

What does FC mean in soccer. What does AFC mean. In the UK, AFC stands for Association Football Club.

It's used as shorthand to refer to clubs that participate in a league - from grass-roots clubs, all the way up to giant international teams.

Why do teams use FC?

The use of FC dates back centuries ago when clubs were first established in England.

The original clubs were known as “football clubs” and eventually shortened their names down to just “FC.”

Over time, other countries adopted this convention and began using it for their own clubs too.

Nowadays it has become a universal term used by all types of soccer teams around the world.  

What does SC mean in soccer?

If you’ve ever been around a soccer game in the United States, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the term “SC”.

It means Soccer Club, which refers to any organized group that is formed for the purpose of participating in soccer-related activities – whether it’s a professional team or an amateur rec league.

It’s the US version of FC!

Beyond FC: Naming Styles in American Soccer Clubs

Here in the States, soccer clubs often use different acronyms and naming conventions compared to the traditional “FC” (Football Club) commonly seen in other parts of the world. Some of the alternatives include:

  1. SC (Soccer Club): This is a direct equivalent to “FC” and is used by several clubs. Example: Columbus Crew SC.
  2. United: This is often used in the names of clubs to signify the union of several teams or communities. Example: Minnesota United FC.
  3. Real: Borrowed from Spanish clubs, ‘Real’ (meaning ‘Royal’ in Spanish) is used by some clubs in the US. Example: Real Salt Lake.
  4. City or Town Name Alone: Some clubs simply use the name of their city or town. Example: Orlando Pride, Portland Timbers.
  5. Sporting: Influenced by clubs in other countries, this term is used to emphasize the club’s broader focus on sports. Example: Sporting Kansas City.
  6. Club Name + Year of Establishment: Some clubs incorporate the year they were established in their name. Example: Charlotte FC 2022.
  7. Dynamo: Inspired by Eastern European clubs, this term is also used. Example: Houston Dynamo.
  8. Galaxy, Earthquakes, etc.: Unique or distinctive names that don’t necessarily follow the traditional soccer naming conventions. Example: LA Galaxy, San Jose Earthquakes.

It’s interesting to note that while “FC” is used in the names of some American clubs (like FC Dallas), these alternative naming conventions reflect the unique cultural and sporting landscape of soccer in the United States.

These names often serve to create a distinct identity and branding for the clubs.

What does FIFA stand for?

Another term that is often heard in soccer circles is FIFA (Fédération Internationale de soccer Association).

FIFA is the international organization responsible for overseeing all aspects of international soccer/soccer competitions including World Cup tournaments and qualifying rounds for major international tournaments like the Olympics and World Cup.

FIFA are the footy overlords who set rules governing how games should be played and how players should behave during those games.

It also provides funding for development programs around the world which help promote soccer/soccer in disadvantaged communities and helps ensure fair play among competitors at all levels of play – from local recreation leagues to professional teams competing in major international tournaments like the World Cup. 

The final score.

Understanding all the difference terms and acronyms relating to soccer – like GF, GD, set piece, soccer cap….can seem super confusing, especially if you’re new to the sport.

Knowing what FC means in soccer will no doubt come in handy if you ever find yourself watching a match or discussing it with friends.

Whether you are a newcomer who knows nothing about soccer or an experienced player looking for more information on specific terms – remember that understanding these terms will give you a great foundation for becoming more knowledgeable about one of the world’s most popular sports! 

This article was written by

  • Anna Adams, Creative Director & Content Lead

    Hi there! I'm Anna Adams, your go-to source for all things women's soccer. I've been crazy about soccer for over 20 years, ever since I was kicking a ball around with my brothers as a kid. I've turned my passion into a career where I get to share all the cool stuff about soccer with you. As a content lead, I've had the awesome opportunity to work with various sports brands and publications. Whether it's the latest gear, pro tips, or just some cool soccer trivia, I'm all about making soccer ac...