Greg A. Ryan1, Cameron M. Horsfall2, Hannah E. Ramirez2, Drew S. DeJohn3, Samuel J. Wilson2, Robert L. Herron4, Stephen J. Rossi2. 1Piedmont University, Demorest, GA. 2Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA. 3South Georgia Tormenta FC, Statesboro, GA. 4University of Montevallo, Montevallo, AL.

BACKGROUND: In-game outcomes (Win [W], Lose [L], Draw [D]) in team sports like soccer are influenced by several variables including coaching strategies, opponent quality, game flow, and, theoretically, individual player on-field performance. The use of GPS technology allows for tracking of a myriad of performance variables of interest by sport scientists including Total Distance (TD), Maximum Sprint Speed (MSS), High Metabolic Load Distance (HMLD), Sprint Distance (SD), and Number of Sprints (#S) that may influence or be influenced by match result. The purpose of this study was to determine if match result impacted in-game performance variables in USL1 male soccer players. METHODS: 24 players (Defenders [DF] = 10, Midfielders [M] = 11, Forwards [F] = 3) from one USL1 team were equipped with individual GPS bioharnesses and performance variables were recorded over the course of 25 regular season games. A one-way ANOVA was run to determine the difference between match results and all performance variables of interest for the team. Additionally, an ANOVA was run to determine if there were positional variations in these variables based on match outcome. Post-hoc LSD analyses were run on significant main effect differences. Significance of relationships was calculated at p ≤ 0.05. RESULTS: No significant differences were noted between any team performance variables and match outcome (TD: p = 0.77; MSS: p = 0.89; HMLD: p = 0.69; SD: p = 0.85; #S: p = 0.83). When separated by position groups, a significant difference was noted among DF MSS (p = 0.01). Post-hoc analyses revealed that MSS was lower in W (19.0 ± 0.7mph) compared to both D (19.8 ± 0.5mph; p < 0.01) and L (19.5 ± 0.4mph; p = 0.03). No other significant differences existed between any position groups and performance variables of interest (all p > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Except for DF MSS, player performance was similar regardless of match outcome in the tested population. This indicates that player performance does not appear to have a major influence on in-game outcome. This could mean that player fatigue, substitution patterns, or tactic changes potentially impact tested performance variables as games progress, despite the outcome of the match.

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