FSI Football Science Update


Developmental stage and lower quadriceps flexibilities and decreased gastrocnemius flexibilities are predictive risk factors for developing Osgood-Schlatter disease in adolescent male soccer players.

Takei S, Torii S, Taketomi S, Iizuka S, Tojima M, Iwanuma S, Iida Y, Tanaka S.

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2023 Mar 31. doi: 10.1007/s00167-023-07378-z. Online ahead of print.

This study in a cohort of 302 Japanese adolescent male soccer players aged 12-13 years followed over 6 months found that peak height velocity (PHV) age ± 6 months at baseline, apophyseal stage of the tibial tuberosity at baseline, quadriceps flexibility ≥ 35° at baseline, and decrease in gastrocnemius flexibility in 6 months are predictive risk factors of Osgood-Schlatter disease development in the support leg.


Are Football Players More Prone to Muscle Injury after COVID-19 Infection? The “Italian Injury Study” during the Serie a Championship.

Corsini A, Bisciotti A, Canonico R, Causarano A, Del Vescovo R, Gatto P, Gola P, Iera M, Mazzoni S, Minafra P, Nanni G, Pasta G, Pulcini I, Salvatori S, Scorcu M, Stefanini L, Tenore F, Palermi S, Casasco M, Calza S.

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023 Mar 15;20(6):5182. doi: 10.3390/ijerph20065182.

This retrospective cohort study involving 15 Italian professional male football teams was performed during the Italian Serie A 2020-2021 season. Of the 433 included players, we observed 173 SARS-CoV-2 infections and 332 indirect muscle strains. The injury risk significantly increased after a COVID-19 event, by 36% (HR = 1.36). The injury burden demonstrated an 86% increase (ratio = 1.86) in the COVID-19 severity level II/III, while level I (asymptomatic) patients showed a similar average burden.


Video analysis of Achilles tendon ruptures in professional male football (soccer) reveals underlying injury patterns and provides strategies for injury prevention.

Hoenig T, Gronwald T, Hollander K, Klein C, Frosch KH, Ueblacker P, Rolvien T.

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2023 Mar 28. doi: 10.1007/s00167-023-07384-1. Online ahead of print.

This study on video footage of 80 Achilles tendon ruptures in 78 professional football players using Wyscout.com or publicly available video databases found that most injuries (94%) occurred through indirect or non-contact mechanisms. The kinematic analysis revealed characteristic joint positions at the time of injury consisting of sudden loading to the plantarflexor musculotendinous unit with hip extension, knee extension, ankle dorsiflexion, foot abduction, and foot pronation in most cases. The underlying direction of movement was from flexion to extension (knee) and from plantarflexion to dorsiflexion (ankle). Player actions identified as main injury patterns were stepping back (26%), landing (20%), running/sprinting (18%), jumping (13%), and starting (10%).


Understanding Training Load as Exposure and Dose.

Impellizzeri FM, Shrier I, McLaren SJ, Coutts AJ, McCall A, Slattery K, Jeffries AC, Kalkhoven JT.

Sports Med . 2023 Apr 6. doi: 10.1007/s40279-023-01833-0. Online ahead of print.

In this article, the authors explain how the concepts of training load can be aligned to classifications used in medicine and epidemiology, where exposure can also be differentiated into external and internal dose, and explored from a causal perspective. Specifically, to optimise training (i.e. within a causal context), a measure of exposure should be reflective of the mediating mechanisms of the primary outcome. To assess the effectiveness of the training process, differentiation between causal (explanatory) and non-causal (descriptive and predictive) dose-response relationships is needed.


Ecological and Specific Evidence-Based Safe Return To Play After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction In Soccer Players: A New International Paradigm.

Forelli F, Le Coroller N, Gaspar M, Memain G, Kakavas G, Miraglia N, Marine P, Maille P, Hewett TE, Rambaud AJ.

Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2023 Apr 2;18(2):526-540. doi: 10.26603/001c.73031. eCollection 2023.

Existing return to play (RTP) assessments have not demonstrated the ability to decrease risk of subsequent anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury after reconstruction (ACLR). RTP criteria are standardized and do not simulate the physical and cognitive activity required by the practice of sport. Most RTP criteria do not include an ecological approach. This is why it is important to integrate ecological situations specific to the environment of soccer players in order to evaluate players under conditions closest to their sporting activity, especially with high cognitive load. Field testing usually includes game simulation, evaluation under dual-task conditions, fatigue and workload analysis, deceleration, timed-agility-test and horizontal force-velocity profiles while attempting to approximate the physical and cognitive loads during a soccer match. This evaluation of neuromotor control in standard and ecological situations may be helpful for reducing the risk of injury after ACLR.


Effects of a Short-Term Detraining Period on the Strength Deficit and Functional Performance of Highly Trained Soccer Players.

Loturco I, Grazioli R, Veeck F, Nakamura FY, Inácio M, Schons P, Preissler A, Pinto RS, Pereira LA, McGuigan MR, Cadore EL.

J Strength Cond Res. 2023 Apr 3. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000004496. Online ahead of print.

This study on 18 highly trained soccer players after a 4-week detraining period found no significant changes were detected for vertical jumping height and 20-m and curve sprint times. Interestingly, some strength- and power-derived parameters improved significantly after this short-term detraining, such as half-squat peak-force and mean power at 50 and 100% body mass load, which may have important implications for training programs aimed at maximizing speed and power performance.


Prevention of sports-related concussion in soccer: a comprehensive review of the literature.

Indharty RS, Siahaan AMP, Rosarina, Susanto M, Tandean S, Risfandi M.

Ann Med Surg (Lond). 2023 Mar 24;85(3):365-373. doi: 10.1097/MS9.0000000000000268. eCollection 2023 Mar.

This systematic review on concussion prevention measures in soccer, found that several strategies can be implemented, including concussion education, rule/regulation changes, proper heading technique, behavioral skills training, vision training to improve sensory and anticipation, the use of supplements to prevent severe concussion and accelerate recovery, as well as prevention in youth sports and head impact detection.