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Last night was the first match for the U.S. men’s national soccer team. They faced their rival Ghana, a tough group that’s sent the Americans home during the previous two World Cups.  Yes, that’s right, in case you’ve been sleeping, it’s the 2014 World Cup!

There’s no denying that soccer players are some of the fittest athletes of any sport.  Have you noticed the colorful tape they sometimes wear?  That’s Kinesio tape, which is used by Manhattan Wellness Group in physical therapy and chiropractic care.  These therapies, as any soccer player will tell you, is important to keeping the body in tip top shape.

The average distance, in miles, each player can runs per game is 7 miles.  Mid-fielders (who play both offense and defense), see the most action, running up to 9.5 miles per game. Soccer players run the most really, more than basketball and tennis even.

The maximum distance, in miles, a referee runs during a game is 8.  A single referee tracks the ball over the entire field and relies on the help of up to two assistant referees to help him enforce the rules if they happen outside his view.

The U.S. team had three daily workouts for the four weeks leading up to the World Cup. 

The length of the game is 90 mins. That’s two 45-minute halves (with a 15-minute halftime) and, at the end of the second half, extra time gets added to the clock to make up for when play was halted as the result of injuries, fouls, and substitutions (the clock keeps running throughout the match).

The average running pace per mile potential World Cup Referees must maintain is 5mins 20sec.  They have to complete 10 laps on a track (or 2.5 miles) in 21:30, with a quarter of that distance spent walking.  Here’s the breakdown: Run 150 meters in 30 seconds (that’s 5:20 per mile), then walk 50 meters in 35 seconds. They repeat that sequence 20 times. That’s after the sprint test, where they must finish six 40-meter sprints under 6 seconds each, with only 90 seconds rest in between.

The size, in square feet, of the field is 69,300.  That’s 1.59 acres of surface area to cover. The fields for international matches must be between 110 yards long by 70 yards wide and 120 yards long by 80 yards wide.

So keep up the good work team USA!  And for all you other soccer players out there stay and shape and let us help you with any aches and pains.

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