Latest research in football - week 26 - 2019

As previous literature updates, I have performed a PubCrawler search looking for football articles in NCBI Medline (PubMed) and GenBank databases.

Following studies were retrieved for this week:


#1 Changes in Lactate Kinetics Underpin Soccer Performance Adaptations to Cycling-Based Sprint Interval Training
Reference: Eur J Sport Sci. 2019 Jun 24:1-24. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2019.1635650. [Epub ahead of print]
Authors: Thom G, Kavaliauskas M, Babraj J
Summary: In adolescent soccer, 23% of the distance covers happens at speeds above onset of blood lactate accumulation which suggests that lactate kinetics may be important for soccer performance. We sought to determine the effectiveness of sprint interval training (SIT) on changing performance and lactate kinetics in adolescent soccer players. Thirteen elite soccer academy players (age 15 ± 0.5y) underwent baseline testing (0-10m and 10-20m sprint performance, Wingate anaerobic Test (WaNT) with blood lactate measurements and incremental VO2 peak test) before being allocated to control or SIT group. The control group maintained training whilst the HIT group carried out twice-weekly all-out effort cycle sprints consisting of 6 x 10sec sprint with 80sec recovery. There were significant time x group interactions for 10- 20m sprint time (Control pre: 1.32 ± 0.07s post: 1.35 ± 0.08s; SIT pre: 1.29 ± 0.04s post: 1.25 ± 0.04s; p=0.01), Peak Power (Control pre: 13.1 ± post: 13.2 ± 1.47; SIT pre: 12.4 ± 1.3 post: 15.3 ±; p=0.01) and time to exhaustion (Control pre: 596 ± 62s post: 562 ± 85s; SIT pre: 655 ± 54s post: 688 ± 55s; p=0.001). The changes in performance were significantly correlated to changes in lactate kinetics (power: r=0.55; 10-20m speed: r=-0.54; time to exhaustion: r=0.55). Therefore, cycle based SIT is an effective training paradigm for elite adolescent soccer players and the improvements in performance are associated with changes in lactate kinetics.

#2 The Validity and Reliability of Live Football Match Statistics From Champdas Master Match Analysis System
Reference: Front Psychol. 2019 Jun 11;10:1339. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01339. eCollection 2019.
Authors: Gong B, Cui Y, Gai Y, Yi Q, Gómez MÁ
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Summary: The aim of the present study was to investigate the validity of match variables and the reliability of Champdas Master System used by trained operators in live association football match. Twenty professional football coaches voluntarily participated in the validation of match variables used in the System. Four well-trained operators divided into two groups that independently analyzed a match of Spanish La Liga. The Aiken's V averaged at 0.84 ± 0.03 and 0.85 ± 0.03 for the validation of indicators. The high Kappa values (Operator 1: 0.92, 0.90; Operator 2: 0.91, 0.88), high intra-class correlation coefficients (varied from 0.93 to 1.00), and low typical errors (varied from 0.01 to 0.34) between the first and second data collection represented a high level of intra-operator reliability. The Kappa values for the inter-operator reliability of were 0.97 and 0.89. The intra-class correlation coefficients and typical errors ranged from 0.90 to 1.00 and ranged from 0.01 to 0.24 for two independent operators within two data collections. The results suggest that the Champdas Master system can be used validly and reliably to gather live football match statistics by well-trained operators. Therefore, the data obtained by the company can be used by coaches, managers, researchers and performance analysts as valid match statistics from players and teams during their professional tasks and investigations.

#3 Coach Turnover in Top Professional Brazilian Football Championship: A Multilevel Survival Analysis
Reference: Front Psychol. 2019 Jun 6;10:1246. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01246. eCollection 2019.
Authors: Tozetto AB, Carvalho HM, Rosa RS, Mendes FG, Silva WR, Nascimento JV, Milistetd M
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Summary: In this study, we examined the probability of coaches' survival in the top Brazilian professional football championship considering variation across the competitive seasons between 2012 and 2017, considering a multilevel framework. We also considered whether previous coaching experience in the top Brazilian professional football championship would change the probability of coaches' survival across the season. The data considered 4,560 games from the top professional Brazilian football league (Campeonato Brasileiro Série A) between the 2012 and 2017 seasons. At the start of each season, the coach from each team was followed, being recorded at the time the event occurred, i.e., the coach being sacked. A total survival of 120 coaches was considered between the seasons of 2012 and 2017, i.e., 20 coaches at the beginning of each season. Coaches were assigned as novice (no previous experience as head coach in the top Brazilian championship) or experienced (with at least some previous experience as head coach in the top Brazilian championship). Data were available and extracted from the official website of the Brazilian Football Confederation. On average and considering un-pooled observations, the median life of a coach was about 16.5 rounds. Considering variation between 2012 and 2017 seasons, only about 26.3% (95% CI: 18.2-36.1) of the coaches ended a season without being sacked. By mid-season, at round 19, the probability of coaches' survival was 0.42 (95% CI: 0.32-0.53). Variation between season on survival estimates per round was substantial (between-season standard deviation = 0.48, 95% credible intervals: 0.25-0.95; corresponding to an inverse logit = 0.62, 95% CI: 0.56-0.72). There was no substantial variation between novice and experienced coaches' survival probability. The present results expose the vulnerability of the coaching context in Brazilian football, potentially highlighting an excessive emphasis on short-term results to mediate club management decisions.

#4 Incidence and Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi Antibodies in Male Professional Football Players
Reference: Clin J Sport Med. 2019 May 30. doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000758. [Epub ahead of print]
Authors: Breitbart P, Meister S, Meyer T, Gärtner BC
Summary: Infections with Borrelia burgdorferi can cause Lyme disease with multiorganic involvement such as (myo)carditis or joint manifestations. Musculoskeletal complaints possibly mimicking some of these symptoms are common among elite athletes. This study aimed to determine seroprevalence and incidence of B. burgdorferi antibodies in professional football players. Five hundred thirty-five men in the first and second German league participated in this study. Two screening assays were used to examine immunoglobulin M (IgM) and immunoglobulin G (IgG) against B. burgdorferi: an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and a chemiluminescence assay (CLIA). In case of a positive or equivocal result, an immunoblot including in vivo antigens was performed. Course of IgM and IgG against B. burgdorferi in overall 1529 blood samples were used as outcome measures.  A total of 96.4% of all results were concordant between EIA and CLIA. Considering only samples with identical results in both assays, prevalence was 1.6%. A positive IgM was detected in 2.3%. No player showed any symptoms of Lyme disease. A seroconversion to IgG was not found. Three players developed a positive IgM corresponding to an incidence of 1032/100 000 person-years. Depending on the assay, 49% to 75% of positive or equivocal screening results could not be confirmed by immunoblot. Seroprevalence and incidence of B. burgdorferi among healthy male professional football players are low. Therefore, infections with B. burgdorferi have to be regarded a rare differential diagnosis in professional football in Central Europe. The low confirmation rate of positive screening assays points to an unspecific immune activation.

#5 Use of viscosupplementation for the recovery of active football players complaining of knee pain
Reference: Open Access J Sports Med. 2019 Jun 6;10:87. doi: 10.2147/OAJSM.S212442. eCollection 2019.
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#6 External Load Variables Affect Recovery Markers up to 72 h After Semiprofessional Football Matches
Reference: Front Physiol. 2019 Jun 4;10:689. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.00689. eCollection 2019.
Authors: Wiig H, Raastad T, Luteberget LS, Ims I, Spencer M
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Summary: Player tracking devices are commonly used to monitor external load from training and matches in team sports. Yet, how the derived external load variables relate to fatigue and recovery post-training or post-match is scarcely researched. The objective was, therefore, to investigate how external load variables affect recovery markers up to 72 h post-match. Semiprofessional players from six teams wore tracking devices during three experimental football matches. External load variables including individual playing duration, total distance, PlayerLoad™, high-intensity running, and high-intensity events were derived from the tracking devices, and blood samples and performance tests from 24-59 players were undertaken post-match. The effect of the external load variables on creatine kinase, myoglobin, and countermovement jump at 1, 24, 48, and 72 h, and 30-m sprint and Yo-Yo intermittent recovery tests level 1 at 72 h post-match, were modeled. Effects were gauged as two standard deviations of the external load and interpreted as the difference between a typical high-load and a typical low-load match. The effects were evaluated with 90% confidence intervals and magnitude-based inferences. High-intensity running had very likely substantial effects on creatine kinase and myoglobin (moderate factor increases of 1.5-2.0 and 1.3-1.6 respectively), while duration, total distance, and HIE showed small, likely substantial effects. PlayerLoad™ and total distance had likely substantial effects on 30-m sprint time (small increases of 2.1-2.6%). Effects on countermovement jump performance were generally non-substantial. Despite these relationships, the uncertainty was too large to predict the recovery of individual players from the external load variables. This study provides evidence that external load variables have an effect on recovery markers up to 72 h post-match. Hence, tracking external load in matches may be helpful for practitioners when managing training load and recovery strategies post-match. However, it is recommended that several different external load variables are monitored. Future research should continue to address the problem of predicting recovery from external load variables.

#7 Effect of biological maturation on strength-related adaptations in young soccer players
Reference: PLoS One. 2019 Jul 5;14(7):e0219355. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0219355. eCollection 2019.
Authors: Peña-González I, Fernández-Fernández J, Cervelló E, Moya-Ramón M
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Summary: Strength training is crucial for soccer players' long-term development at early ages and the biological maturation may influence specific strength-training adaptations. The aim of this study was to propose a strength-training programme for the strength development of pre-pubertal players and to analyse the adaptations to this training programme in players with different maturity status. One hundred and thirty young male soccer players participated in an 8-week strength-training programme consisting of two sessions per week (20-minutes of a combination of plyometric and resistance exercises) which was conducted prior to their normal soccer training. Three maturity groups were defined according to the years from/to their peak height velocity (PHV) as Pre-, Mid- and Post-PHV. Initial differences between the maturity groups were found in anthropometrical (weight and height) and physical performance variables (One Repetition Maximum (RM), Peak Power output (PP), 30-m sprint and T-test). The strength-training programme was beneficial for the three maturity groups (p< 0.05) with general greater improvements for the Pre- and Mid-PHV groups, with large effects in RM, PP and T-test, than for the Post-PHV group (moderate effects). The strength-training programme proposed in the present study seems to be positive for the strength-related development in young soccer players especially for Pre- and Mid-PHV players. The differences in the training adaptations for players with different maturity status suggest the individualization of the training stimulus for the correct long-term development of the players.

#8 Gender but not diabetes, hypertension or smoking affects infarct evolution in ST-elevation myocardial infarction patients - data from the CHILL-MI, MITOCARE

Reference: BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2019 Jul 3;19(1):161. doi: 10.1186/s12872-019-1139-7.
and SOCCER trials.
Authors: Nordlund D, Engblom H, Bonnet JL, Hansen HS, Atar D, Erlinge D, Ekelund U, Heiberg E, Carlsson M, Arheden H
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Summary: Infarct evolution rate and response to acute reperfusion therapy may differ between patients, which is important to consider for accurate management and treatment of patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). The aim of this study was therefore to investigate the association of infarct size and myocardial salvage with gender, smoking status, presence of diabetes or history of hypertension in a cohort of STEMI-patients. Patients (n = 301) with first-time STEMI from the three recent multi-center trials (CHILL-MI, MITOCARE and SOCCER) underwent cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging to determine myocardium at risk (MaR) and infarct size (IS). Myocardial salvage index (MSI) was calculated as MSI = 1-IS/MaR. Pain to balloon time, culprit vessel, trial treatments, age, TIMI grade flow and collateral flow by Rentrop grading were included as explanatory variables in the statistical model. Women (n = 66) had significantly smaller MaR (mean difference: 5.0 ± 1.5% of left ventricle (LV), p < 0.01), smaller IS (mean difference: 5.1 ± 1.4% of LV, p = 0.03), and larger MSI (mean difference: 9.6 ± 2.8% of LV, p < 0.01) compared to men (n = 238). These differences remained significant when adjusting for other explanatory variables. There were no significant effects on MaR, IS or MSI for diabetes, hypertension or smoking. Female gender is associated with higher myocardial salvage and smaller infarct size suggesting a pathophysiological difference in infarct evolution between men and women.

#9 Effects of Age on Physical Match Performance in Professional Soccer Players
Reference: J Strength Cond Res. 2019 Jul 1. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003244. [Epub ahead of print]
Authors: Rey E, Costa PB, Corredoira FJ, Sal de Rellán Guerra A
Summary: This study aimed to evaluate the effects of age using a large-scale analysis of match physical performance in professional soccer players. A total of 10,739 individual match observations were undertaken on outfield players competing in the first and second divisions of the Spanish soccer professional leagues during the 2017-2018 season, using a computerized tracking system (TRACAB, Chyronhego, New York, USA). The players were classified into five positions and into 5 age groups (<20 years, 20-24.9 years, 25-29.9 years, 30-34.9 years, and ≥35 years). The results showed that (a) professional soccer players aged ≥30 years exhibit a significant decrease (p < 0.01) in the total distance covered, medium-speed running distance, high-speed running (HSR) distance, very HSR (VHSR) distance, sprint distance, and maximum running speed compared with younger players (<30 years); (b) professional soccer players aged ≥35 years exhibit a significant decrease (p < 0.01) in the number of HSR, number of VHSR, and number of sprints compared with younger players (<35 years); and (c) all playing positions reduced their physical performance; however, external midfielders were less affected by age effects. In conclusion, this study demonstrates players' physical match performance reduces with increasing age. Such findings may help coaches and managers to better understand the effects of age on match-related physical performance and may have the potential to assist in decisions regarding recruitment and player list management within professional soccer clubs.

#10 Biomechanical Associates of Performance and Knee Joint Loads During A 70-90° Cutting Maneuver in Subelite Soccer Players
Reference: J Strength Cond Res. 2019 Jul 1. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003252. [Epub ahead of print]
Authors: McBurnie AJ, DosʼSantos T, Jones PA
Summary: The aim of this study was to explore the "performance-injury risk" conflict during cutting, by examining whole-body joint kinematics and kinetics that are responsible for faster change-of-direction (COD) performance of a cutting task in soccer players, and to determine whether these factors relate to peak external multiplanar knee moments. 34 male soccer players (age: 20 ± 3.2 years; body mass: 73.5 ± 9.2 kg; height: 1.77 ± 0.06 m) were recruited to investigate the relationships between COD kinetics and kinematics with performance and multiplanar knee joint moments during cutting. Three-dimensional motion data using 10 Qualisys Oqus 7 infrared cameras (240 Hz) and ground reaction force data from 2 AMTI force platforms (1,200 Hz) were collected to analyze the penultimate foot contact and final foot contact (FFC). Pearson's or Spearman's correlations coefficients revealed performance time (PT), peak external knee abduction moment (KAM), and peak external knee rotation moment (KRM) were all significantly related (p < 0.05) to horizontal approach velocity (PT: ρ = -0.579; peak KAM: ρ = 0.414; peak KRM: R = -0.568) and FFC peak hip flexor moment (PT: ρ = 0.418; peak KAM: ρ = -0.624; peak KRM: ρ = 0.517). Performance time was also significantly (p < 0.01) associated with horizontal exit velocity (ρ = -0.451) and, notably, multiplanar knee joint loading (peak KAM: ρ = -0.590; peak KRM: ρ = 0.525; peak KFM: ρ = -0.509). Cohen's d effect sizes (d) revealed that faster performers demonstrated significantly greater (p < 0.05; d = 1.1-1.7) multiplanar knee joint loading, as well as significantly greater (p < 0.05; d = 0.9-1.2) FFC peak hip flexor moments, PFC average horizontal GRFs, and peak knee adduction angles. To conclude, mechanics associated with faster cutting performance seem to be "at odds" with lower multiplanar knee joint loads. This highlights the potential performance-injury conflict present during cutting.

#11 A retrospective study of mechanisms of anterior cruciate ligament injuries in high school basketball, handball, judo, soccer, and volleyball
Reference: Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Jun;98(26):e16030. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000016030.
Authors: Takahashi S, Nagano Y, Ito W, Kido Y, Okuwaki T
Summary: The purpose of this study was to analyze the mechanism of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries among male and female high school students across several different sports to understand ACL injury trends.A total of 1000 cases involving high school students who suffered ACL injuries during school activities (soccer, basketball, volleyball, handball, and judo) and who received insurance benefits through the Injury and Accident Mutual Aid Benefit System, were included to clarify the various mechanisms of ACL injuries. The mechanism of ACL injury was divided into contact and non-contact injuries. Contact injuries were further divided into direct and indirect contact injuries. Non-contact ACL injuries were also further divided into landing injuries, which involved jump-landing movements, and cutting and stopping injuries, which involved movement with a change of direction and deceleration.Overall, 99.0% of judo ACL injuries were categorized as contact ACL injuries. With regards to ball sports, the number of non-contact ACL injuries among basketball, volleyball, and handball players was significantly higher than the number of contact injuries (67.0%, 86.5%, and 68.5% respectively). With regards to female soccer and basketball players, the number of indirect ACL injuries was higher than direct injuries (72.2% and 76.7%, respectively).Volleyball was associated with a higher rate of non-contact injuries. Soccer, basketball, and handball were associated with more or similar rates of indirect and non-contact injuries than direct injuries. Judo was associated with a higher rate of contact injuries.

#12 Self-reported head injury symptoms exacerbated in those with previous concussions following an acute bout of purposeful soccer heading
Reference: Res Sports Med. 2019 Jun 30:1-14. doi: 10.1080/15438627.2019.1635130. [Epub ahead of print]
Authors: Kaminski TW, Thompson A, Wahlquist VE, Glutting J
Summary: Rates of concussion in soccer are high, especially in female players. The primary aim of this study was to examine differences in self-reported concussion-related symptoms (CRS), balance (BESS), and neurocognitive performance (ImPACT) following an acute bout of soccer heading in a group of female collegiate players with and without a history of concussion. Eighty-seven players with 0 to 3+ previous concussions participated. The measurement variables were assessed before and after heading sessions; including one linear and one rotational bout. Players with concussion histories reported more CRS than their non-concussed teammates both before and after the heading sessions. Balance and neurocognitive scores were generally unaffected. This finding should heighten our awareness to carefully monitor soccer players who have experienced concussions and be aware that they may develop concussion-like symptoms, especially after acute bouts of heading either during practice or in matches. The long-term implications of this finding remain unknown.

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