One aspect of soccer that separates it from many other sports is the unique combination of speed and endurance that is required and no position must run farther during a match than midfielders. These players are often asked to cover the entire length of the field which can be up to 130 yards long.
During the United States National Team’s opening match against Ghana, midfielder Michael Bradley led the team with 7.9 miles covered during the match. The match lasted 100 minutes and one second, which means Bradley averaged 4.75 mph for more than an hour and a half, with only one real break (cont. below).
This chart also shows that even goalkeepers must travel long distances with Tim Howard travelling just under three miles during the match.
We also get a sense of the impact fresh legs can have on a match.
Alejandro Bedoya, who was replaced by Graham Zusi mid-match, combined with Zusi to travel 7.8 miles, topped only by Bradley.
Similarly, Jozy Altidore and Aron Johannsson combined to run 7.1 miles, a half-mile more than the team’s other forward, Clint Dempsey.
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