FSI Football Science Update

Measurement properties of external training load variables during standardised games in soccer: Implications for training and monitoring strategies.

Clubb J, Towlson C, Barrett S.

University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia & Football Science Institute

PLoS One. 2022 Jan 21;17(1):e0262274. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0262274

This study assesses the measurement properties of external training load measures across three formats of standardised training games (11v11, 10v10, 7v7+6) using Global Positioning Systems in . 88 players from two English professional soccer clubs. Total distance (TD) and PlayerLoad™ (PL) demonstrated good sensitivity on a group level. However, a wide variety of within-subject reliability was demonstrated for these variables. High speed running demonstrated poor reliability across all three formats of SSG. Given the within-subject variation, the reliability of external training load measures across trials of standardised training games should be calculated on an individual level.


Knee Flexor Eccentric Strength, Hamstring Muscle Volume and Sprinting in Elite Professional Soccer Players with a Prior Strained Hamstring

Mendez-Villanueva A, Nuñez FJ, Lazaro-Ramirez JL, Rodriguez-Sanchez P, Guitart M, Rodas G, Martin-Garetxana I, Lekue J, Di Salvo V, Suarez-Arrones L

Qatar Football Association, Doha, Qatar & Football Science Institute

Biology (Basel). 2022 Jan 3;11(1):69. doi: 10.3390/biology11010069

This study in 46 male professional soccer players at the start of the preseason showed that the eccentric knee strength of the previously injured limbs was greater than the uninjured limbs. Previously injured limbs showed possibly larger biceps femoris short heads (BFSh) and likely semitendinosus (ST) muscle larger volumes than the uninjured limbs. Players who had experienced a previous HSI were possibly slower in the 5-m sprint.


Predictive Analytic Techniques to Identify Hidden Relationships between Training Load, Fatigue and Muscle Strains in Young Soccer Players

Mandorino M, Figueiredo AJ, Cima G, Tessitore A

University of Rome ‘Foro Italico’, Italy

Sports (Basel). 2021 Dec 24;10(1):3. doi: 10.3390/sports10010003

This study in 22 young soccer players used anthropometric data, predicted age at peak height velocity, skeletal age, session-RPE, and a countermovement jump (CMJ) test before and after each training/match to predict the risk of muscular strain injury MSI through different data mining models: Logistic Regression (LR), Random Forest (RF), Support Vector Machine (SVM). Among them, SVM showed the best predictive ability (area under the curve = 0.84 ± 0.05). Then, a Decision tree (DT) algorithm was employed to identify MSI and the underlying risk factors.


Return to Play and Player Performance After Meniscal Tear Among Elite-Level European Soccer Players: A Matched Cohort Analysis of Injuries From 2006 to 2016.

Lavoie-Gagne OZe et al

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Orthop J Sports Med. 2022 Jan 12;10(1):23259671211059541. doi: 10.1177/23259671211059541

This study used publicly available records to identify 250 players who sustained meniscal tears across the 5 major European soccer leagues (English Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1, and Serie A) between 2006 and 2016. Median absence was 57.5 days or 7 games. Rate of RTP was 70%, and the reinjury rate 5%. Age greater than 30 years was a negative predictor for RTP, whereas higher preinjury goals per game and surgical management were positive predictors for RTP. Surgical management was associated with higher long-term availability. There were no significant differences in field time or performance metrics after RTP in comparison with healthy players.


Exploring the Use of Player Load in Elite Soccer Players

Oliva-Lozano JM, Conte D, Fortes V, Muyor JM

Health Research Centre, University of Almería, Almería, Spain

Sports Health. 2022 Jan 17:19417381211065768. doi: 10.1177/19417381211065768

This study analyses the player load (WIMU Pro tracking systems) in elite soccer players. A large correlation was found between player load and distance covered, and the distance may be predicted by the player load, an accelerometry-based metric, which combines the accelerations in anterior-posterior, medial-lateral, and vertical planes. So, strength and conditioning coaches may use this parameter as a measure of total body load.