Football may be attracting the most attention for head injuries in sports these days, but fútbol has also suffered a rash of concussions that have derailed the careers of prominent U.S. players. According to Dr. Robert Cantu, a concussions expert at the Boston University School of Medicine, soccer provides the third-highest number of his patients among professional athletes, behind only football and ice hockey. But unlike those sports, soccer has two big differences: Its players don’t wear helmets, and the pro and international games allow only three substitutions per match with no chance to return, putting pressure on teams to make hasty decisions to keep injured players on the field.
The MLS has formed a Concussion Program Committee and it has 12 members and a chairman. One of the members on the committee is Taylor Twellman (remember him) and his experiences with post-concussion syndrome. The committee has yet to have written policies, but is working hard to create some direction for soccer. FIFA does not have a policy and either does the Champion Leagues of Europe. This would be a great opportunity to set a policy for the world to follow.