Major League Soccer (MLS) has confirmed a multi-year partnership with Second Spectrum this week in which the latter will become the League’s first Official Advanced Tracking Data Provider. 

Beginning with the 2020 season, Second Spectrum will provide its proprietary, optical tracking system for every MLS match. Additionally, MLS and league partner MGM Resorts International will collaborate to create new fan engagement opportunities through an all new enhanced data feed for betting.

Over the off season, Second Spectrum installed its optical tracking system in every MLS stadium. Leveraging its cameras and a cloud-based analytics engine, the company captures data on the location of every player, the referees, and the ball 25 times per second. 

It also uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to process the collected data, and can calculate a player’s speed, acceleration, deceleration, and shot velocity, as well as advanced statistics like passing probability and expected goals, in near real time.

“We’re incredibly excited to partner with MLS and its teams,” said Rajiv Maheswaran, Second Spectrum CEO. “The combination of our new technologies and capabilities with a forward-thinking organization like MLS creates an exciting future of continued growth and innovation together.”

The wide-ranging partnership includes all MLS matches, including Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, MLS Cup and the MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, as well as Leagues Cup and Campeones Cup matches – the annual competitions between MLS and Liga MX, the two best soccer leagues in North America.

“MLS’ partnership with Second Spectrum sets a new standard for innovation in player-tracking in soccer,” said Chris Schlosser, MLS SVP of Media. “Along with Second Spectrum, MLS will deliver an enhanced new fan experience, bringing innovation to MLS content while providing MLS clubs and technical staff with new tools to enhance player performance.”