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Dirty Tackle

Team USA's Michael Bradley hardest working player from World Cup group stage

Dirty Tackle


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World Cup workhorses

World Cup workhorses

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U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley came into the World Cup shouldering a lot of expectations, with some observers dubbing him the most important player on the team. Then the so-called engine of the American squad had an ineffectual performance against Ghana in the opener. That was followed by a couple of very visible mistakes against Portugal, which may have cost the U.S. a win.

But it's not all doom and gloom for the New Jersey native. The U.S. has advanced out of a tough group to meet Belgium in a round of 16 clash. What's more, Bradley has won an accolade of sorts. As the tournament progresses, FIFA statisticians have been crunching the numbers to determine such things as the best passer and best defender. At the end of the group stage, they discovered that Bradley had run more than any other player at the World Cup: 23.6 miles. In fact, his supremacy in the "work horse" category was so comprehensive that he'd actually run nearly a mile farther than his closest rival, Chile's Marcelo Diaz.

[Photos: Team USA prepares for Belgium match]

The data showed that Bradley's top speed achieved during all this running was 17.6 miles per hour. To put this in context, an African bush elephant can attain speeds of 25 miles per hour while a brown bear can run 22 miles per hour. The Eastern gray squirrel is slower than Bradley at 12 miles per hour.

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