Soccer in one form or another has been around since before the time of Christ. It is a simple yet vigorous sport. Take two teams, a ball and a goal and see who can score more goals in a given time. But you can not use hands – just the feet, body and head.
Running and kicking are the main skills of soccer. Coordination is also required to dribble the ball down the field avoiding defenders. The body must be able to accelerate and change directions when needed and good lower extremity control is important. There is incidental contact so protect your legs with shin guards and watch out for head and body contact as players compete for the ball especially as the ball is coming down from a lofted kick.
Risk of injury includes:
sprained knees and ankles
lower leg fractures (typically in a competitive setting)
Before playing, make sure to warm up with light running. Include turning and changing speeds and directions. Also do backward running and some high knee skipping. Lastly, stretch hamstrings, quadriceps, achilles, hip adductors and buttocks muscles before and after play.
As with any new physical activity check with your physician before starting especially if you have a history of heart disease or asthma.