first_imgFormer U.S. national team stars Michelle Akers and Brandi Chastain have joined eight other elite players to take part in a new study looking at the long-term effects of head impacts in women’s soccer.Chastain, who is known for her historic winning penalty kick in the 1999 Women’s World Cup final, appeared on “CBS Good Morning” on Thursday to announce her and Akers’ involvement in the first-ever study focusing specifically on women. Akers recently joined Chastain in pledging to donate her brain posthumously.”I wish I knew this information when I was younger. I headed the ball so much,” she said. “I practiced heading the ball. Had I known, I never would have done that. Heading the ball is risky. It does damage to your brain. Should we take heading out of soccer? I don’t know. That’s why we need research.” Megan Rapinoe: ‘I’m not going to the f—ing White House’ Women’s World Cup 2019 preview: What to know, how to watch USWNT vs. France Women’s World Cup 2019: Megan Rapinoe stands by White House comments after President Trump tweets “We can’t just look at one gender and say, ‘OK, we’ve done some studies, this is how it applies to everybody,'” Chastain said. “No, it doesn’t apply to everybody.”Akers, who made 155 appearances for the national team from 1985 to 2000, has admitted she suffers from chronic migraines. The 53-year-old conceded that knowing what she knows now she would not be “heading a million balls like that.” Related News “There’s no way on earth I would do that again,” she said.#EXCLUSIVE : 20 years after their historic #WorldCup win, Michelle Akers and Brandi Chastain are in a first-of-its-kind study of high-level female soccer players.Thursday on #CTM , @DrLaPook reports on why they’re now wondering about the potential for a type of brain damage, CTE.— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) June 26, 2019Akers continued to talk about the importance of this study in a phone interview with ESPN the morning of the current USWNT’s much-anticipated World Cup quarterfinal matchup against France.”This is the first time they’re looking at female soccer players, female brains and it’s important to have this conversation,” Akers said . “This needs to be looked at equally for women and men, and until now, it hasn’t been.”The study will begin later this year at Boston University and will look at former players over the age of 40 who played at least five years of organized soccer with at least two of those years coming after high school and at least one year at the professional level or on a national or Olympic team, ESPN reported.”I had never thought about CTE in the soccer world,” Akers said. “I knew what was said about NFL players, but when I saw that documentary, I saw the connection to soccer. I thought, what are we doing about it? What’s going on around the world? I figured if this was happening to English professional players, then FIFA must be doing studies. There must be studies going on in the U.S. But when I started looking around, I found nothing.”In 2016, Chastain became one of the first professional women athletes to donate her brain to Boston University’s Concussion Legacy Foundation for study upon her death.last_img

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