US Soccer inks ₹10,000 crore deal to identify gen-next footballers

US Soccer inks ₹10,000 crore deal to identify gen-next footballers - InsideSport

The United States soccer federation will e-monitor the performance of four million registered footballers in the country to identify and groom the best talent for future.

US Soccer Federation has announced a ‘ground-breaking’ deal with UK-based sports performance data experts STATSports. The world’s largest contract for player data monitoring programme to identify future stars of the game in the USA is valued at $1.5 billion (INR 10,000 crores).

The deal will see over four million registered US footballers wearing the official on-field performance monitoring technology similar to that used by the game’s top players within three years. It also marks the first step towards giving footballers at all levels across the US access to the performance technology used by the top professionals and teams around the world.

The brand’s flagship APEX Athlete Monitoring devices will be worn in a vest and positioned between the shoulder blades. The wearable will help to quantify physical performance, including physical load and movement during training and matches. The high-resolution units measure physical metrics including distance, speed, acceleration, deceleration, high-speed running, load and heart rate. A typical training session will see millions of data points collected on a player, providing an unparalleled insight into their performance.

US Soccer Director of Sport Development Ryan Mooney has said: “We are extremely excited to partner with STATSports. This technology will drive our support, improve performance, and better monitor health and safety across all of our national teams and our nation’s elite players in the Development Academy. By partnering with a world leader in wearable performance tracking, we will help drive and improve player environments through the exchange of data between clubs and US Soccer as players enter and leave national team camps. Over time, this information will be used to research, support and educate the entire landscape.”

U.S. Soccer High-Performance Director James Bunce said, “The APEX Performance Monitoring Devices are the most accurate and give us the optimal ability to support all our National Teams and Development Academy clubs. 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 analyse data from every soccer player across the U.S., we will be able to assess, monitor and optimize the physical development of those players. This project has the potential to collect data on a scale that has not been achieved before in any sport or organisation. This technology will support our mission to develop world-class players through numerous avenues including benchmarking, injury prevention and talent identification.

“With over 4 million registered players, we believe there is tremendous potential for the APEX Athlete Series device to track performance, improve education for parents, players and coaches, and to enhance player health and safety.”

US Soccer will roll the technology out in two tiers. The 6,500 APEX Team Series systems will be deployed across the US men’s national team, women’s national team, Paralympic national team, futsal national team, beach soccer national team, National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), youth national teams and development academy clubs.

STATSports Group Managing Director Jarlath Quinn said: “Players, parents and coaches are looking for data that can really help them improve and the APEX Athlete series GPS units do just that. Our expectation is for millions of registered players in the US to be wearing these devices by 2022 and this will revolutionise the way young players train, recover and perform. This will be the world’s largest data collection programme on athletes in any sport across both professional and recreational levels. The information is so rich it enables everyone to make better decisions on training and performance.”

“Key Performance Indicators are emerging by position that will assist with developing national standards, player development initiatives, national team selections, in-game tactical considerations, reviewing training responses in real time and adjusting practices based upon environmental change and conditions.”

STATSports, based in Newry, Northern Ireland, already supplies clubs in the English Premier League, including Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur and the Brazil, Germany, Portugal, Belgium and England football associations. NFL, NHL, Rugby Union, NBA, Track and Field and Hockey also use the company’s APEX Team Series GPS units which provide real-time data to players and coaches to drive improved performance.

STATSports’ suite of player development hardware and software provides US Soccer coaches, high-performance staff and players the ability to holistically analyse each player’s individual response to training sessions and games through real-time feedback. This ability will continue to remain a crucial element in enhancing performance on the field while also reducing the chances of players under-training or picking up injuries through over-training.

The data can be streamed to a phone, iPad or smartwatch making the hardware easy to incorporate into the training pitch. All players wearing the device will have their performance data instantly analysed allowing US Soccer to swiftly identify top and rising talent.