Real Salt Lake is a team that punches above their weight. Fighting against wealthier teams in the competition with one of the smallest budgets in Major League Soccer, the team coached by MLS legend Pablo Mastroeni have invested their funds wisely into a brand new coaching and analysis workflow which will save them time, improve on-field performance and optimize the development of up-and-coming talent.

“Real Salt Lake is a development club, we’re one of the smaller markets in the MLS, if not the smallest market,” explained Real Salt Lake Assistant General Manager Tony Beltran. “Our cornerstone of the way our roster is built for the first team, for the professional team, is based on a development model.”

Beltran knows all about the development aspect of the club known as Claret and Cobalt, having joined the club as a 19-year-old back in 2008, going on to make over 200 appearances and becoming a fully capped USMNT player at the international level. 

The development model of the club heavily relies on innovation in order to maximize the ability of the coaching staff to implement their style of play and overall performance goals. Real Salt Lake have set up Hudl Focus auto-capture cameras in both their indoor and outdoor playing facilities to automatically capture, share, code and analyze their training footage.

Real Salt Lake Assistant General Manager Tony Beltran is looking to bring innovation to the Real Salt Lake development model.

Video Analyst Rob Rogers describes the value of the automated camera system on the training ground. 

“It’s about implementing our style of play, which is the vision of our manager

Pablo Mastroeni, and when we are trying to implement that style of play, one of the biggest things is teaching our players what that looks like,” said Rogers.

“Live analysis on the training ground is vitally important for us. When we're doing a scout of an opponent, at some point in the week, we will do a 11 v 11 game which will replicate what that opponent's style of play is and some of their principles that we see.

Using Hudl Replay, we can go in and we can make sure that the team as a scout team is performing and positioning themselves in the exact spots that the opponent will on the weekend

to give our players the best picture of what they're going to see.”

Real Salt Lake players train in the picturesque surroundings of the Oquirrh Mountains. Hudl Focus is set up at this outdoor facility to automatically capture and share instances on the pitch.

The work done on the training ground leads to match day, and Hudl Focus again adds automation and time saving in the live match situation.

“We have another member of our video analysis staff who is up in the booth on Match Day, and who will be coding the game live,” said Rogers. “And via the Replay system, myself on the bench, I can access the things he's coding.

I can share that with the staff, we can create playlists, we can show players in real time what's happening. And that's been a huge part of our success early in this season.”

The difference between then and now with Hudl Focus has completely streamlined not only the speed and automation of analysis, but also how it saves the analyst himself valuable time.

“Before Hudl Focus I would have to come up to this platform with my own camera, plug everything and hook it up to the computer, make sure there was a connection to the bench via Dropbox, via wireless, whatever that would be,” said Rogers. “Then film the game, as well as analyze the game, as well as share clips with the coaches on the sideline, which is a lot of tasks for one person.”

The Hudl Focus camera is housed at the perfect position to provide multi-angle capture - all automatically captured into Hudl Sportscode.

Talent identification and development is another crucial part of Real Salt Lake’s model. This area is handled by Elite Talent Director Cody Worden.

“Our job is to more or less create performance plans for players to walk them along the pathway from academy into the second team, second team into the first team,” said Worden.

“So every player that we consider to be an elite talent, we will bring them in to have individual film and then that individual film will be used to tailor make an individual session for them at some point in time during the week.

I think analysis products really help, especially here in the modern era. You know, all of our staff, certainly our coaches, but all of our staff just be more efficient.”

“Before Hudl Focus I would have to come up to this platform with my own camera, plug everything and hook it up to the computer, make sure there was a connection to the bench via Dropbox, via wireless, whatever that would be". Rob Rogers - Video Analyst, Real Salt Lake.

For Real Salt Lake Midfielder Scott Caldwell, video analysis helps him not only self-reflect, but also prepare specifically for upcoming opponents. 

“I was defending a lot of really tricky wingers and seeing the video on them shows me how they play and their tendencies,” said Caldwell. 

“When the video footage is right in front of a player, it's easy for them to be able to see and to agree with someone who's pointing out what they need to improve or what they need to continue to push forward on. 

Where they want the ball, where they want to receive it, if they want to run at me, or if they want the ball in behind.”

When asked about why Real Salt Lake brought Hudl Focus to the club, Beltran explained that it was all about providing solutions to specific challenges. 

“There's a lot of motivation for bringing Hudl Focus and certainly other technologies into Real Salt Lake,” said Beltran. “I think the obvious one is, it eliminates an easy variable of having a staff member up here during games. And we're in Utah. We have a lot of games, a lot of elements. 

Having the Hudl Focus camera eliminates that variable and makes it a seamless process where it's downloaded immediately to our staff, and it eliminates that extra manpower but allows us more time to focus on what actually is important.”

Capture, record and upload automatically: Learn how Hudl Focus will eliminate the need for manual capture processes. 

To see Hudl Focus live in action on match day, check out our video case study with Norway's Molde FK where we followed their live analysis process throughout match day.