CHICAGO (July 15, 2004) — U.S. Soccer and Soccer United Marketing debuted StroMotion to a national TV audience this week as part of the game analysis in the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 1-1 draw with Poland on Sunday on ESPN2, bringing Dartfish technology into American homes for the first time during a soccer broadcast.
The U.S. Men’s National Team played before 39,592 fans at Soldier Field in Chicago, tying the game 1-1 in the 88th minute with a goal from Carlos Bocanegra.
In an example of the Dartfish technology, the USA’s tying goal saw the ball sail through the air Sunday from Landon Donovan’s feet to Bocanegra’s head and into the goal. As it did, the ball left behind a trail showing its exact trajectory.
“We’re happy to be extending the use of StroMotion to soccer broadcasts in the United States,” said Victor Bergonzoli, President and U.S. General Manager of Dartfish. “Our technology has been very successful in other sports, as well, because of its ability to enhance moments within the game for the viewer. And it allows commentators to accurately break down specific points of action.”
StroMotion displays still images at different points in an object’s trajectory, whether it is a ball or player, and allows the trajectory to be clearly viewed and analyzed. As a result, ESPN2 viewers watched the ball cross the field, leaving behind a dotted trail of balls that arched perfectly to Bocanegra’s head and into the net.
StroMotion technology was used a number of times during the broadcast, including Bocanegra’s goal. Viewers saw the path of the ball when Brian McBride’s penalty kick was blocked by the Polish keeper, and when McBride crossed a ball to Josh Wolff during the first half, missing Wolff’s head by inches.
In the first half, viewers also watched a trail of Donovans appear as he wove through several players on a 30-yard run before being brought down by two Polish defenders.
Dartfish technology has been used to enhance the broadcast of world-class events such as the 2002 FIFA World Cup, the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, the last four World Figure Skating Championships and the 2001 Indianapolis 500.
U.S. National Team coaches have used Dartfish applications since 2002 to analyze player performances and games. The technology, as adapted for television, provides exciting replays and demonstrates an athlete’s body movement and technique, as well as highlighting the trajectory of the ball.
Besides StroMotion, other Dartfish applications used by U.S. Soccer include DartTrainer, which has a Video Management System that allows coaches to easily capture and classify multiple clips for post-game and half time analysis.
The U.S. Women’s National Team competing in Athens this summer will use Dartfish TeamPro—a video editing software that links a video camera to a laptop and is specifically designed to analyze athletes and teams in action. During the game, the user “tags” specific moments and drops the clips into an easily accessible playlist. The clips can be used to recognize opponents’ patters and exploit any weaknesses.
The StroMotion technology will be used throughout U.S. Soccer broadcasts in 2004.