The US Team Ran The Farthest Of Any Country At The World Cup

The United States may not have won the World Cup, but it did finish first in a very important statistical category, total average distance covered on the field.

In the wake of the World Cup, FIFA provides a ton of cool statistics, broken down by team, including dribbles in the penalty area, tackles won and lost, and long versus short pass completions.

Each page also shows the total distance each team ran over the course of the tournament. Since teams played a different number of games, we found the average distance per game.

There are certain variables this method does not take into account — in particular, games that went to extra time and thus forced teams 30 more minutes of running. But the results are still interesting, namely when considering the average distance covered in regard to the overall result of that team. Brazil, for example, reached the semifinal (before collapsing epicly), but overall they only rank just 20th in distance. On the other end, Chile bowed out to Brazil in the Round of 16 but ran more than anyone in the entire tournament except for the U.S. and Germany.

Although FIFA doesn’t explain how they track this particular piece of data, according to a New York Times interview with Mark Verstegen, an American who serves as the German national team’s trainer, each player wears a monitor in his cleats that tracks mileage, movement, heart rate, stopping and starting points on the field, and many other statistics.

Here’s the full ranking from the 2014 World Cup:

1. USA — 77.17 miles per game

2. Germany — 75.12 miles per game

3. Chile — 74.75 miles per game

4. Costa Rica — 74.14 miles per game

5. Switzerland — 73.46 miles per game

6. Australia — 73.38 miles per game

7. Netherlands — 75.34 miles per game

8. Argentina — 72.9 miles per game

9. Russia — 71.79 miles per game

10. Algeria — 71.76 miles per game

11. Belgium — 71.7 miles per game

12. Bosnia and Herzegovina — 69.96 miles per game

13. South Korea — 68.97 miles per game

14. Ghana — 68.92 miles per game

15. Spain — 68.04 miles per game

16. Greece — 67.83 miles per game

17. Iran — 67.0 miles per game

18. Portugal — 66.91 miles per game

19. Italy — 66.55 miles per game

20. Brazil — 66.36 miles per game

21. Mexico — 66.06 miles per game

22. England — 66.05 miles per game

23. Japan — 65.76 miles per game

24. France — 65.6 miles per game

25. Uruguay — 65.16 miles per game

26. Croatia — 65.12 miles per game

27. Colombia — 64.2 miles per game

28. Nigeria — 68.67 miles per game

29. Ecuador — 61.36 miles per game

30. Cameroon — 60.45 miles per game

31. Honduras — 59.7 miles per game

32. Ivory Coast — 59.5 miles per game

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