Nacsport in Women’s Football – Portland Thorns FC
Today's blog will provide you with an insight into the video analysis processes of US soccer team, Portland Thorns FC. We started working with The Thorns after Richard Gunney joined the team in 2017. We previously worked with Richard when he was at FA Wales, so it was great that Richard wanted to take Nacsport over to his new role! Moving forward, the team will be supported by the new Nacsport America office which was recently opened, to spread awareness of the Nacsport solutions to the US. We wanted to say thanks to Richard for providing his insights so we can share them with you!
This year will see Nacsport entering into the second season supporting Portland Thorns FC, as the club looks to continue their success in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL). The NWSL is one of the most competitive women’s soccer leagues across the world and boasts a host of international players from across the globe. Thorns FC are at the forefront of the women’s game and remarkably play games in front of a home crowd of 16,000 on average, making them one of the biggest female sporting organisations in the world.
The NWSL consists of a regular season to crown the regular-season champion, but as with many other sports in the United States, the season then continues into a playoff format to determine the league champion.
At the start of the 2017 season, Thorns FC hired Richard Gunney as their new assistant coach and Richard has a long history of working with Nacsport from his time with the Football Association of Wales. Richard has a wealth of experience and expertise utilising analysis software as part of preparations and post-match analysis, so ourselves and Nacsport were delighted that in 2017, Thorns FC went all the way to the championship match and won the club’s second NWSL Championship in five seasons!
Richard, an experienced UEFA “A” licence coach, is fast becoming an expert in the women’s game and highlights his role with the team and how Nacsport supports him with his daily preparations.
My role is to support the head coach with our weekly preparations on and off the field. A large portion of the role will involve using Nacsport in three areas, including analysing opposition, analysing our own performance and studying all aspects of set pieces.
The first part, opposition analysis, results in me watching approximately three or four games and using Nacsport to analyse opposition, identifying some consistent trends in their game. That information can then be fed back to the head coach. In addition, players may also request individual videos on the opposition and this can be gathered quickly and efficiently thanks to Nacsport.
The second area I use the software in is post-match analysis. After every game, I will watch it back and use Nacsport to analyse our own performance and again break the game down into some key performance indicators and flag up any critical trends. This results in us being able to show video back to the team, to certain units or individual players to help with reflecting on performances and preparing for future games.
Finally, we use Nacsport to study all set pieces and restarts in both attack and defense. This analysis helps shape preparations for how we organise ourselves as a team and also present the information to the players.
Take a closer look at the Thorns FC team and their lead up to winning the championship in this fantastic video below. AnalysisPro and Nacsport wish the team all the best for the 2018/19 season and hope they can have the same level of success!