Adidas plans world's first 'smart soccer match' for July

The company says that it will use its miCoach system to provide coaches with real-time tracking on players playing in the Major League Soccer All-Star Game on July 25.

Adidas' tracking technology will be in use at the MLS All-Star Game.
Adidas' tracking technology will be in use at the MLS All-Star Game. Video capture by Don Reisinger/CNET

Adidas' miCoach service, which is essentially its answer to Nike+, will be playing a major role in the Major League Soccer All-Star Game in July.

According to the company, the MLS game will be the world's "first smart soccer match," allowing coaches to track player performance on the pitch. Adidas hasn't revealed too many details on how the service will work, but it appears that coaches will be able to access real-time player statistics, including speed, acceleration, and power output, from a tablet. The software also provides alerts coaches might need to consider.

Although Adidas calls its player-tracking software the "next step in player performance analysis technology," it might make some sport purists take a step back. The kind of information to be made available to the MLS All-Star Game coaches is unlike anything they've had before. And that kind of data could make the game more reliant upon raw data than instinctual decision-making -- a key aspect of soccer since its inception.

Still, it's clear Adidas and Nike are starting to see value in the intersection between sports and technology. Back in February, Nike announced Nike+ Basketball , a service that includes a new line of sneakers with strategically placed sensors capable of determining how hard one's playing, how fast they're moving, and how high they're jumping. The data is collected and transmitted to an iPhone for tracking.

Adidas plans to share more information on how it's tracking the MLS teams when the All-Star Game kicks off on July 25. Until then, watch the video below to see what the new service is capable of doing for coaches.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.


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