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MLS Sep 12, 2019

Atlanta United FC implements PlayerMaker technology to fast-track player development

In a first for Major League Soccer (MLS), Atlanta United FC has partnered with sports technology company PlayerMaker to boost player and team development with a focus on their academy.

Atlanta United is one of the most respected teams in MLS, having been the most recent winner of the MLS Cup, U.S. Open Cup, and Campeones Cup.

The PlayerMaker device collects datapoints based on a discrete boot-mounted gyroscope and accelerometer, which are then processed in the cloud and analyzed against their massive dataset of soccer movements to provide both individual player and team-based data. The system, which can be used in both training and games, then creates dashboards to highlight technical, tactical and physical indicators for evaluation by players, coaches, managers and even scouts.

“The PlayerMaker system has given us tremendous insight into the performance of our players, and the ability to benchmark their metrics against our first team allows us to zero in on specific areas for improvement, “ explained Tony Annan, Academy Director for Atlanta United FC. “Some of the players were initially skeptical of wearing a device on their boots, but they simply don’t notice it – there has been no interference with our training, and the results are already showing in individual and team performance.”

With Atlanta United paving the way for other MLS clubs, they have identified and implemented new innovative methods for using the technology that have not yet been applied by any other team around the world. The academy team will be benchmarking indicators such as pace, pass completion, ball touches (by right/left foot), and passing network across individual positions, comparing like-for-like against the first team to highlight where special attention is needed. This training technique is only possible through the analysis of the various indicators that the PlayerMaker device records, and seems destined to be adopted by other clubs worldwide.

“The ingenuity shown by the coaches at Atlanta United is impressive,” added Gal Barak, General Manager, Americas at PlayerMaker. “Utilizing our device in this way will go a long way to demonstrate to players where they need to focus their attention to prepare themselves to move to the first team. This sort of resourcefulness is what stands out when working with teams such as Atlanta United.”

Based out of London, PlayerMaker already has a profile of renowned clients around the world, including Millwall FC in the United Kingdom, and Maccabi Tel Aviv, the most decorated club in Israel. [Case Studies]

PlayerMaker and Atlanta United FC have created this video based on their work together, which demonstrates the ways in which the academy are using the device.

PlayerMaker Dashboard