There has recently been an increase in quantification and objective analysis of soccer performance due to improvements in technology using load indexes such as Player Load (PL) and Metabolic Power (MP). The objectives of this study were: (1) to describe the performance of PL and MP in competition according to the specific role, match‐to‐ match variation, periods of play, game location and match status according to game periods, and (2) to analyze the relationship between both indexes. Twenty‐one national‐level soccer players were distributed in the following specific positional roles: external defenders (ED) (n = 4), central defenders (CD) (n = 4), midfielders (M) (n = 5), external midfielders (EM) (n = 4) and attackers (A) (n = 4). A total of 12 matches played by a Spanish Third Division team during the 2016/2017 season were analyzed. WIMU PROTM inertial devices (RealTrack System, Almeria, Spain) were used for recording the data. The main results were: (1) a performance reduction in both variables over the course of match time, (2) significant differences in both variables based on the specific position, (3) differences in physical demands during the season matches, (4) winning during a game period and the condition of being the visitor team provoked higher demands, and (5) a high correlation between both variables in soccer. In conclusion, different contextual variables influence the external load demands; both indexes are related so they could be used for external load quantification, and it is necessary to analyze physical demands of the competition for a specific and individualized load design in training sessions.
There is no clear evidence that vitamin D effectively improves physical capacity in high-level athletes. The aim of this study was to confirm that vitamin D supplementation of soccer players during eight-week high-intensity training would have a significant effect on their aerobic capacity. The subjects were divided into two groups: the experimental one that was supplemented with vitamin D (SG, n = 20), and the placebo group (PG, n = 16), not supplemented with vitamin D. All the players were subjected to the same soccer training described as High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The data of the vitamin D level, PWC170, lactate threshold (LT) were collected just before and after the intervention. A significant increase in vitamin D concentration (119%) was observed in the supplemented group, while the non-supplemented group showed a decrease of 8.4%. The studied subjects improved VO2max results by 20% in the SG, and by 13% in the PG. The improvement in velocity at the LT was similar in both groups. Results of this study show that vitamin D can have a positive, though moderate, effect on aerobic performance in players subjected to high-intensity training in the form of small-sided games for 8 weeks.