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NEWS: Earthquakes, German Football Association Agree to Collaboration

SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes and the German Football Association (DFB), and the DFB-Academy, have agreed to a multi-year collaboration focused on knowledge exchange, game development and machine learning. The collaboration presents both organizations an opportunity to take a global leadership role, centered around capturing new insight from objective-driven match and performance analysis.

“We are excited to enter into this collaboration with the German Football Association as we have formed a strong understanding and connection as to how we want to continue to deliver an insight-driven message to our players and coaches,” said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli. "Driven by two landscapes rich in talent and innovation, both organizations are committed to making an increasingly fast game even smarter, one player at a time. In doing so, we are strengthening our long-term investments in our respective player development programs. Because the DFB represents the highest benchmark today, for their successes both at the first team level and the youth level and for their methodology, we are thrilled to work together in the coming years.”

The German Football Association is a world powerhouse both at the senior team and youth levels, winning the 2014 FIFA World Cup. This year alone, the DFB won the 2017 Confederations Cup and the 2017 U-21 European Championships. In the Confederations Cup Final against Chile, Germany used seven players 23 years of age or younger, including five starters.

By provoking existing boundaries and perceptions, both parties strive to develop new tactical, technical, physical and, in particular, cognitive standards in a measureable and actionable manner. In doing so, the two organizations will test new trends through joint research and development clinics and focus groups in an effort to gain critical feedback from players and coaches to be implemented in their respective programs. 

“The collaboration with the San Jose Earthquakes is a wonderful opportunity for the DFB to develop training content and diagnostics further,” said Markus Weise, Head of the DFB Academy's conceptual development unit. “The Earthquakes, just like so many other organizations in Silicon Valley, are truly embracing technology and are challenging the status quo. Their innovative approach is perfectly in-line with our ambition here at the DFB and our Academy. That is why the Earthquakes are such a great fit for us. We want our player development program to become the standard of excellence in global football. Capitalizing on game insight through machine learning and knowledge exchange are great examples of how we want to drive developments proactively forward through co-innovation – and this collaboration with San Jose allows us to do just that.”

The collaboration will further allow both organizations to strengthen their presence and investments in youth development and cutting-edge sports technologies.

Part of the agreement is forming research and development expert teams and subsequently hosting R&D and coaching clinics, both in Germany and the U.S. Additionally, the collaboration will feature joint participation at marquee panels and discussions, including the Stanford Graduate School of Business Sports Innovation Conference. It also has the potential to bring a friendly between the two nations to the Bay Area.

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