Yesterday, adidas and MLS announced that after it debuts at the 2012 MLS All Star Game, adidas' smart soccer system will be adopted league wide in 2013. Commercials advertising smart soccer on the horizon have been running during MLS programming for a few months now, for those of you who haven't seen it:
With the kickoff of the 2013 season, all 19 clubs will be using data tracking technology, which will provide players, trainers, and coaches with real time data including heart rate, speed, acceleration, distance, field position, and power. The whole idea is that being able to track things like heart rate and speed, injury is more likely to be prevented.
I've had the privilege of testing out a pair of adiads Predator LZs equipped with a speed cell. I've shown on the blog before the kind of data it can collect, and last night I wore my LZs in La Barra Clasico, playing with the AC Brigade. My gracious hosts got me some playing time toward the end of the match, and through my terror I managed to emerge with only a bruise on the top of my right foot.
If you go to this webpage, you can see the data my speed cell was able to collect. I put my cleats on before the Riot Squad's match against the Black Army (which they won!) and took them off after the AC Brigade fought valiantly through fatigue to ultimately lose 3-1 to the Union Ultras. Two hours and seventeen minutes of total time, according to my speed cell. I burned a mere 122 calories running 1.08 miles during my ten or so minutes in the match.
You can see from the spikes when I was sprinting to get to a ball, or to get back on defense. You can also see, not all sprints are built the same way. That first sprint where I pushed myself too hard probably explains all that huffing and puffing toward the end there. I didn't have a heart rate monitor, nor GPS turned on, so those features are unavailable.
Now, when adidas wires MLS players, it won't be with speed cells. The plan is to insert a data cell into a base layer players will wear, and then that cell will wireless transmit 200 data records per second to a central computer, where it then will be transmitted to iPads the coaches will have available on the pitch. With just his finger, a coach can see a player's workload, his heart rate, etc.
I did mention a bruise on the top of my foot. 50/50 ball and my foot took the brunt of my opponent's studs. Outside of the fun I had hanging out with the AC Brigade, and seeing first hand the rivalry between Chivas and Galaxy fans, I was impressed with all that can be gleaned from that little data cell in my shoe.
Oh and Clipper Darrel was there, and Galaxy fans cursed him out. That was funny.