A collaboration between the US Soccer Federation and STATSports will result in the world’s largest player data monitoring program. The partnership will see some 6,500 APEX GPS tracking units distributed to US men’s, women’s, youth, Paralympic, Futsal and Beach National Teams, Development Academy clubs and the NWSL.
Essential reading: Training sensors for soccer (aka football) players
Worn in a vest and positioned between the shoulder blades, the Apex unit is a performance monitoring tool that is used by some of the best teams in the world across multiple sports. This includes the Premier League, NFL, NBA and La Liga. The device tracks every type of movement and stats on distance, speed, acceleration, deceleration, high-speed running, load and heart rate.
The gizmo streams this data to smart watches, tablets and smartphones, and logs it for post-session download. The real-time analytic capability to see player position and motion allows coaches to monitor athletes and make decisions during play.
“The APEX GPS device is the most accurate and gives us the optimal ability to support all our National Teams and Development Academy clubs,” US Soccer High Performance Director James Bunce said.
“The ability to utilize the system live to help make instant and informed decisions is second to none. By developing a customizable, centralized hub to analyze data from players across the U.S., we will be able to assess, monitor and optimize the physical development for those players.”
This is only the beginning. Sports wearables are a growing field and FIFA is, to this end, looking to establish a global wearables standard. The idea is to have all professional teams using the same data-tracking technologies to help doctors and coaches. It also opens a whole host of possibilities for broadcasting, allowing fans to view in-depth player statistics.
The FIFA World Cup this summer will, for the first time, see the use of video assistant referees. The last step towards giving match officials high-tech help in Russia was agreed by FIFA’s ruling council earlier this month.
Like this article? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and never miss out!