MLS, adidas to launch first "smart soccer league" in 2013

NEW YORK – adidas and Major League Soccer today announced that MLS will integrate the adidas micoach Elite System league-wide in 2013, marking the world’s first “smart league.”  The announcement comes ahead of the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game, which is set to be the world’s first “smart game” integrating the micoach Elite System. 

Beginning in the 2013 season, all 19 MLS clubs will use the data-tracking technology from adidas, providing coaches, trainers and players with real-time performance metrics including heart rate, speed, acceleration, distance, field position and, for the first time, power.

By measuring every move, heartbeat and step and relaying that to a coach on the touch line in less than a second, the technology enables a better understanding of the physical and physiological impact on the team, or any individual, during a game or training session. From analyzing trends to preventing overtraining and risk of injury, the micoach Elite System will help maintain optimum levels of player performance week in, week out throughout the season.

“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,” said 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 micoach Elite System includes a small data cell that fits into a player’s base layer in a protective pocket on the back between the shoulder blades. Connected by a series of electrodes and sensors woven into the fabric of the base layer, the cell wirelessly transmits more than 200 data records per second from each player to a central computer and then is displayed in a series of simplified insights and results on the coach’s iPad.  At the touch of his fingertips, a coach can monitor the workload of an individual player, compare one athlete with another or view the whole team to gain a complete picture of the squad.

“Our long-standing partnership with adidas and our combined goal to bring innovative and game-changing experiences to the sport of soccer are key reasons behind the success of Major League Soccer,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber.  “Working with adidas, we are bringing players, coaches and fans across the league a revolutionary technology to help teams perform at the highest level.”

In the future, MLS fans will be able to experience greater insight from the field of play as live, on-field player data will become an integral part of the game experience, whether watching from home or within the stadium.

MLS will debut the new adidas micoach technology on-field for the first time during the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game on July 25 in Philadelphia, when the best of Major League Soccer take on UEFA Champions League winner Chelsea Football Club. 

“On-field data tracking is one of the most important elements coaches and trainers use to prepare their teams,” said Paul Gaudio, vice president of adidas interactive.  “Teams are constantly looking for a competitive edge and the micoach Elite System is a real-time performance monitoring solution for the best teams in the world.”

MLS is all-in

Gaudio continued, “With years of research, innovation and development behind it, the micoach Elite System allows coaches and trainers to make informed strategic decisions to maintain collective peak physical performance on the field.”

In development since 2010, the micoach Elite System is the product of extensive research, science and cutting-edge technology development by adidas to create the most advanced system for elite teams across the globe.  The micoach Elite System was developed in close consultation and collaboration with many of the leading soccer coaches and clubs including Major League Soccer teams New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union and Seattle Sounders FC, as well as Real Madrid, AC Milan, Ajax and Bayern Munich.

The micoach Elite System is part of the family of micoach electronic training devices, services and technologies that capture, analyze and evaluate personal performance to help athletes get better for their sport.

adidas is the global leader in soccer and partners with the world's greatest soccer clubs and federations including Chelsea FC, AC Milan, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Germany and Japan.  adidas is an official partner of Major League Soccer, FIFA, UEFA and the Confederations of African Football.  adidas sponsors world-class athletes like Leo Messi, David Beckham, David Villa, Kaka, Steven Gerrard, Xavi, Frank Lampard, Andres Guardado, Jozy Altidore, Brek Shea, Fredy Montero, Juan Agudelo and Omar Gonzalez, among others.