PlayerMaker technology on the boots Tormenta and Louisville. Photo by Cameron Koubek
At the USL Academy Eastern Conference Regional Event in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, players in certain games had access to a unique opportunity to gain additional insight into their performance. In four of the tournament’s matches, players were outfitted with Playermaker’s in-game technology, providing them and their coaches with in-depth performance data.
By simply strapping each player’s boots with a slim band, Playermaker gathered a multitude of individual and team statistics which allow for advanced performance analytics.
“We were incredibly excited to involve a partner and service like Playermaker into USL Eastern Conference Event,” said USL Senior Director of Youth Development Liam O’Connell. “As our clubs strive to develop future pro players, we must look to pursue innovative new ways to enhance those players’ developmental experiences. Having partners like Playermaker utilize new technologies to improve our coaches and players within those environments will be critical in pursuing that mission.”
Before certain matches, Playermaker staff members strapped thin black bands containing their technology onto the shoes of each player.
By the end of the contest, the coaches and players were able to see advanced statistics like average passes per possession, average time per possession, intense speed changes, number of one-touches, total releases, and more information related to the players' physical, tactical, and technical performance.
The devices are light enough that players did not notice them on their boots, but they were able to quickly understand what they did and didn’t do well after a match.
“In our partnership with the USL, USL Academy teams receive the granular player performance analysis seen at the professional level,” said Playermaker Head of Business Development Cesar Lopez. “Players are able to absorb specific physical, tactical, and technical performance data that they can use in collaboration with their coaches to enhance their development.”
Thanks to Playermaker’s technology, USL Academy personnel were able to identify four top performers from the matches in which players were outfitted with the gear.
In Tormenta’s 3-1 win over Louisville City, Nugara was highly impressive. He doubled or tripled the positional averages for multiple important statistics over the course of the match, with 48 ball possessions (23.1 average), 27 long possessions (9.3 average) and 46 total releases (21.3 average). These numbers show Nugara was key to Tormenta in keeping the ball and helping them relieve pressure by building out of the back. He also ran 8.9 kilometers, far beyond the center back average of 4.9.
Louisville City FC, Left Back
Nodler also outran his positional counterparts, covering 8.6 kilometers of ground during Louisville’s match up against Tormenta. He made 37 intense speed changes vs. the positional average of 29.7, showing he was constantly involved both in making runs forward to support the attack and recovering to contain Tormenta’s wingers. His number of one-touches (16) and short possessions (9) also showed he was instrumental in helping Louisville play with a quicker tempo.
Charlotte Independence, Center Midfielder
Keenan ran the show in the middle of the park for Charlotte in the Independence’s 1-0 win over Colorado Springs Switchbacks. He covered 12.1 kilometers, nearly double the average for his position. His work rate (calculated by meters covered per minute played) was 123.6, well beyond the 87.1 average. His possession stats were also above average, showing he contributed both on and off the ball to Charlotte’s win.
“We were very excited to see the Playermaker devices in action at the USL Academy Eastern Conference Event,” said Playermaker General Manager, Americas Gal Barak. “Playermaker enables coaches to deploy unique data analytics to enhance individual and team development strategies, which are essential at the Academy level where players are still focused on developing technical skills. Playermaker allows USL teams to fully optimize player performance by using the data generated to make the most informed coaching decisions.”
Having access to a highly-detailed level of data was undoubtedly a valuable resource for USL Academy players and coaches in understanding their performance at the tournament beyond the surface. The partnership between Playermaker and USL means that teams in USL Academy competitions can take advantage of Playermaker’s technology to gain an upper hand in developing young talent as the Academy platform continues to grow.
To stay up-to-date with all things USL Academy, visit usl-academy.com or search #USLAcademy on social media.
Playermaker is a sports technology company revolutionizing the way football teams use data. Utilizing cutting-edge motion sensors and advanced machine learning algorithms, their device tracks all technical, tactical, bio-mechanical and physical movement on and off the ball, giving managers and coaches a granular understanding of their players’ and team’s performance. Used by clubs worldwide, the Playermaker device delivers a competitive advantage to some of the most forward-thinking coaches. To find out more, visit www.playermaker.com.