Adidas Transforms MLS Into Digital-Driven Smart Soccer League

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The AT&T MLS All-Star Game taking place this week (July 25) in Philadelphia will be the world’s first “smart soccer match” and will feature the new adidas micoach professional soccer team tracking system, billed as the next step in player performance analysis technology.

The tool measures everything an athlete does, and the All-Star game is a prelude to a broader rollout with Major League Soccer in 2013. That’s when all 19 Major League Soccer teams will start using the micoach Elite System in a bid to make MLS the world’s first smart sports league.[more]

This year’s MLS all-star game is being dubbed the first “smart” game of all time. “We are proud to partner with our long-term partner Major League Soccer to debut our latest innovation the micoach Elite System at the MLS All-Star Game and then across the league in 2013,” stated adidas Group CEO Herbert Hainer. “As the paths of sports and technology continue to converge, we are pleased to be pioneering in this area and continue to deliver cutting-edge innovations to teams and leagues worldwide.”

The system also presents a challenge to Nike on the digital athletic tracking front, following Nike’s recent launch of FuelBand, which provides data that weekend warriors may crave — but so far, no professional sports league partner. Unlike FuelBand, the adidas micoach doesn’t have to be strapped on. It can be worn in the player’s uniform on his back. All the data – more than 200 records per second per player — will be transmitted to a central computer. The data-tracking technology provides coaches, trainers and players with real-time performance metrics including heart rate, speed, acceleration, distance, field position and, for the first time, power.

As a Soccer Nation blog post notes, “With this technology coaches can keep track of each player’s vital statistics and determine the physical and physiological impact not just on the individual but on the entire team. Of course, there will be many who downplay this type of technology on the field, while some may even go so far as to refer to ‘Big Brother’ on the pitch.” SB Nation has more in the video below:

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