FSI Football Science Update


Stadium attendance demand in the men’s UEFA Champions League: Do fans value sporting contest or match quality?

Wills G, Addesa F, Tacon R.

PLoS One. 2023 Feb 3;18(2):e0276383. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0276383. eCollection 2023

This paper on men’s UEFA Champions League analyzing 1,234 matches from 2009/10 to 2018/19 across 32 nations found that outcome uncertainty and competitive intensity are not significantly associated with higher attendances, but the level of team quality is, for all fans, and the presence of star players is, for fans of clubs outside the top five European leagues.


Does Prematch Neuromuscular Performance Affect Running Performance in Collegiate Elite Female Soccer?

Ishida A, Draper G, White JB, Travis SK.

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research ():10.1519/JSC.0000000000004344, October 18, 2022. | DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000004344

This study on 14 Division I collegiate female soccer players found that pre-match neuromuscular performance represented by the countermovement jump (CMJ) relative peak power predicted high-speed running distance during the match.


Mechanisms of Hamstring Injury in Professional Soccer Players: Video Analysis and Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings.

Jokela A, Valle X, Kosola J, Rodas G, Til L, Burova M, Pleshkov P, Andersson H, Pasta G, Manetti P, Lupón G, Pruna R, García-Romero-Pérez A, Lempainen L.

Clin J Sport Med. 2022 Nov 25. doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000001109. Online ahead of print.

This study analyzed 14 videos of acute hamstring injuries in 13 professional male soccer players. 3 different injury mechanisms were seen: mixed-type (both sprint-related and stretch-related, 43%), stretch-type (36%), and sprint-type (21%). Most common actions during injury moments were change of direction (29%), kicking (29%), and running (21%). Most injuries occurred at high or very high horizontal speed (71%) and affected isolated proximal biceps femoris (BF) (36%). Most frequent body positions at defined injury moments were neutral trunk (43%), hip flexion 45-90 degrees (57%), and knee flexion <45 degrees (93%). Magnetic resonance imaging findings showed that 79% were isolated single-tendon injuries.


Concurrent Validity and Reliability of Different Technologies for Sprint-Derived Horizontal Force-Velocity-Power Profiling.

Cormier P, Tsai MC, Meylan C, Agar-Newman D, Epp-Stobbe A, Kalthoff Z, Klimstra M.

J Strength Cond Res. 2023 Jan 18. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000004429. Online ahead of print.

This study evaluated the validity and reliability of 2 double constellation athlete monitoring systems (STATSports Apex, Catapult Vector S7) and one timing gate system to assess sprint-derived horizontal force-velocity-power profile metrics, in comparison with a radar gun. Overall, GPS/GNSS 10 Hz technology shown reliable across devices and can provide moderate-to-good accuracy.


Risk factors for hamstring muscle injury in male elite football: medical expert experience and conclusions from 15 European Champions League clubs.

Ekstrand J, Ueblacker P, Van Zoest W, Verheijen R, Vanhecke B, van Wijk M, Bengtsson H.

BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2023 Jan 24;9(1):e001461. doi: 10.1136/bmjsem-2022-001461. eCollection 2023

This survey on chief medical officers of 15 European male professional football clubs divided in 2 groups depending on  having lower or higher than average hamstring injury burden concluded that the medical officers considered that the majority of the risk factors for these injuries were associated with coaching staff, team or club rather than players themselves. ‘Lack of communication between medical staff and coaching staff’ had the highest average importance followed by ‘Lack of regular exposure to high-speed football during training sessions’.


Sprint and Jump Training on Sand vs. Grass Surfaces: Effects on the Physical Performance of Young Soccer Players.

Pereira LA, Freitas TT, Zabaloy S, Ferreira RCA, Silva ML, Azevedo PHSM, Loturco I.

J Strength Cond Res. 2023 Feb 1. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000004472. Online ahead of print.

This study on 24 under-20 soccer players found that a similar 6-weeks training program including both sprint and jump exercises on sand or grass surfaces resulted in similar improvements in the vertical jump and Zigzag performance.


Travel Across More Time Zones Results in Worse Perceived Fatigue and Sleep in National-Team Footballers.

Clements E, Ehrmann F, Clark A, Jones M, McCall A, Duffield R.

Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2023 Jan 30:1-8. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.2022-0230. Online ahead of print.

This study on 355 national-team trips (50 elite soccer players) found that for every time zone crossed, poorer ratings of perceptual fatigue, sleep, soreness and total wellness were observed. Travel across 9+ time zones resulted in significantly worse perceived fatigue, sleep, and total wellness for day 1 and  even worse for day 2 post arrival. Eastward travel resulted in poorer sleep ratings than westward travel.