Michael Bradley Another Lacrosse-Connected U.S. Soccer Star
Its not exactly a mystery that the world of lacrosse and soccer share no shortage of overlap - huge numbers of springtime lacrosse players are on soccer teams in the fall, the fields are similar-sized, and the men's world championships (FIFA World Cup for them, FIL World Championships for us) happen to take place in the summer on the same four-year cycle.
This summer, we've already seen the connection between the sports played out with the increasingly popular "I Believe That We Will Win" chant's origins with Navy Lacrosse. And its also pretty well-known that former U.S. Men's National Team boss Bruce Arena was a one-time All-American midfielder at Cornell who played on both the 1974 and 1978 Team USA squads at the world games for lacrosse.
But, thanks to the shrewd eye of our former co-worker here at LM, Clare Lochary, we can add another connection point - U.S. star midfielder Michael Bradley's mother Lindsay (nee Sheehan) was an All-America lacrosse player at Virginia for coach Jane Miller, while his uncle Peter was an All-American goalkeeper, also for the Cavaliers.
"Lindsay was one of the best players that helped bring us back into the national limelight," recalled Miller, for a 2010 article published on Virginia's athletics website during the last World Cup (one where Bradley's father Bob was the coach of the U.S. men).
Sheehan still holds the UVa record for career assists, totaling 129 in only three seasons. She began her college career at Penn State before transferring to UVa.
I haven't been able to find any reference to Michael himself playing the sport, but with a pedigree like that, might we have seen him suiting up alongside Paul Rabil and the U.S. Men's midfield crew in Colorado later this month?
Who knows, but it's fun to speculate.
Bradley has been a bit maligned for his performance in this World Cup, but we wish him the best of luck in today's knockout round game against Belgium - from one lacrosse family to another.