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Evaluation of the Match Performances of Substitution Players in Elite Soccer

Paul S. Bradley, Carlos Lago-Peñas, and Ezequiel Rey


To evaluate match performances of substitute players using different research designs.


English Premier League matches were analyzed using a multiple-camera system. Two research designs were adopted: an independent-measures analysis comparing the match-performance characteristics of players completing the entire match (n = 810) vs substitutes (n = 286) and the players they replaced (n = 286) and a repeated-measures analysis comparing the same players completing full matches vs those in which they were introduced as a substitute (n = 94).


Most substitutions (P < .05) occurred at halftime and between the 60- to 85-min vs all first-half periods and the remaining second-half periods (effect size [ES]: 0.85–1.21). These substitutions become more (P < .01) offensive (eg, more attacking positions were introduced) in relation to the positions introduced as the half progressed (ES: 0.93–1.37). Independent-measures analysis indicated that high-intensity running was greater (P < .01) in substitutes compared with players who either completed the entire match or were replaced (ES: 0.28–0.67), but no differences were evident for pass-completion rates (ES: 0.01–0.02). Repeated-measures analysis highlighted that players covered more (P < .01) high-intensity running when they were introduced as substitutes compared with the equivalent period of the second- but not the first-half period (ES: 0.21–0.47). Both research designs indicated that attackers covered more (P < .05) high-intensity running than peers or their own performances when completing the entire match (ES: 0.45– 0.71).


Substitutes cover greater high-intensity-running distance; this was particularly evident in attackers, but pass-completion rates did not differ for any position. This information could be beneficial to coaches regarding optimizing the match running performances of their players, but much more work needs to be undertaken to investigate the overall impact of substitutes (physical, technical indicators, and contribution to key moments of matches).

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Accumulative Weekly External and Internal Load Relative to Match Load in Elite Male Youth Soccer Players

Vicente de Dios-Álvarez, Pello Alkain, Julen Castellano, and Ezequiel Rey

Purpose: The aim of this study was 2-fold: (1) to assess and compare the external and internal load of elite young soccer players during competitive microcycles and (2) to describe the training/match ratios (TMr) in elite male youth soccer players. Method: Twenty-one youth soccer players were monitored using a 10-Hz global positioning system. Total distance covered, running distance (RD), high-speed RD, sprint distance, number of accelerations and decelerations, player load, and rated perceived exertion were recorded during training sessions and matches. The TMr was calculated for each load measure. All variables were also normalized dividing the load per minute of activity. Results: The RD, high-speed running, and sprint distance were higher 3 days before the match and 2 days before match compared with the rest of the training sessions. However, accelerations, decelerations, and player load were higher 4 days before match than other sessions. Besides this, the TMr of RD, high-speed running, and sprint distance were associated with lower values than the TMr of total distance covered, accelerations, decelerations, and player load. The match constituted the highest load during competitive microcycle. Conclusions: The present data support the idea that youth soccer coaches and practitioners must consider relative training load according to match demands to better manage and evaluate player periodization.

Open access

Interrater Reliability of the Test of Gross Motor Development—Third Edition Following Raters’ Agreement on Measurement Criteria

Aida Carballo-Fazanes, Ezequiel Rey, Nadia C. Valentini, Cristina Varela-Casal, and Cristian Abelairas-Gómez

We aimed to calculate interrater reliability of the Test of Gross Motor Development—Third Edition (TGMD-3) after raters reached a consensus regarding measurement criteria. Three raters measured the fundamental movement skills of 25 children on the TGMD-3 at two different times: (a) once when simply following the measurement criteria in the TGMD-3 manual and (b) after a 9-month washout period, following the raters’ consensus building for the measurement criteria for each skill. After calculating and comparing the interrater reliability of these three raters across these two rating times, we found improved interrater reliability after the raters’ consensus-building discussions on ratings of both locomotor skills (moderate-to-good reliability on two of six skills initially and at least moderate-to-excellent on four of six skills following criteria consensus building) and ball skills (moderate-to-good reliability on one of seven skills initially and at least moderate-to-excellent reliability on four of seven skills following criteria consensus building). For subtest scores and overall test scores, raters achieved at least moderate-to-good reliability on their second, postconsensus-building ratings. Based on this improved reliability following consensus building, we recommend that researchers include rater consensus building before assessing children’s fundamental movement skills or guiding curriculum interventions in physical education from TGMD-3 data.