FSI Football Science Update

A risk-reward assessment of passing decisions: comparison between positional roles using tracking data from professional men’s soccer.

Goes F, Schwarz E, Elferink-Gemser M, Lemmink K, Brink M.

Sci Med Footb. 2022 Aug;6(3):372-380. doi: 10.1080/24733938.2021.1944660. Epub 2021 Jun 27.

Performance assessment in professional soccer often focusses on notational assessment like assists or pass accuracy. However, performance is more about making the best possible tactical decision. This study of position tracking data from an entire season of Dutch Eredivisie matches, containing 286.151 passes of 336 players considered not only the passes that has been played, but also the pass options that were available at the time of passing. The resultant model outperforms previously published models, showing large differences in decision-making between players, and thus it can be used to assess player performance based on what could have happened, rather than solely based on what did happen in a match.




The effectiveness of 3D multiple object tracking training on decision-making in soccer.

Harenberg S, McCarver Z, Worley J, Murr D, Vosloo J, Kakar RS, McCaffrey R, Dorsch K, Höner O.

Sci Med Footb. 2022 Aug;6(3):355-362. doi: 10.1080/24733938.2021.1965201. Epub 2021 Aug 13.

This study examines the effectiveness of 3-dimensional multiple object tracking (3D MOT) training in 31 NCAA Division III soccer players, finding a significant training effect in 3D MOT performance but non-significant changes in passing decision-making.




Higher and lower caffeine consumers: exercise performance and biological responses during a simulated soccer-game protocol following caffeine ingestion.

Apostolidis A, Mougios V, Smilios I, Hadjicharalambous M.

Eur J Nutr. 2022 Jul 20. doi: 10.1007/s00394-022-02955-3.

To study if caffeine habituation reduces its ergogenic effects, 20 professional male soccer players were categorized as higher (n = 9) or lower caffeine consumers (n = 11) after answering a validated questionnaire, and then performed a simulated treadmill soccer-game protocol on treadmill following either caffeine (6 mg kg-1) or placebo ingestion. Time to exhaustion, countermovement jump height, HR, plasma glucose and lactate were higher while rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was lower following caffeine compared to placebo ingestion in both groups. Reaction time and energy expenditure were not affected by caffeine.




A 7-min halftime jog mitigated the reduction in sprint performance for the initial 15-min of the second half in a simulated football match.

Bang S, Park J.

PLoS One. 2022 Jul 19;17(7):e0270898. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0270898. eCollection 2022.

This study in 18 male football players compared the effects of a 7-min shuttle jog (at an intensity of 70% of heart rate maximum) as a warm-up during halftime to a control condition (seated rest) on subsequent athletic performance and lower-leg temperature in a simulated football second half. There was no effect in maximal vertical jump, Arrowhead agility test time, and lower-leg temperature, but when performing the shuttle jog the 20-m sprint time during the initial 15-min of the second half was significantly faster.