Goalie Briana Scurry is on a mission to educate youth soccer players on concussions

BY Murrey Jacobson  July 2, 2014 at 6:59 PM EST

There’s been so much excitement surrounding the World Cup — and it has been an amazing tournament so far — that one almost feels like “Debbie Downer” to talk about some of the problems facing the sport of soccer. But at a time when there’s more attention surrounding concussions, it felt like it was also the right time to sit down with former goalkeeper Briana Scurry. If you watched the 1999 World Cup final with the American women’s team, you’ll remember her as the player who made history with a shoot-out save against China.

Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post

Briana Scurry had surgery in October to relieve pain and headaches caused by a 2010 concussion. Read the Washington Post’s profile of her career and recovery here. Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post

Scurry’s career was a remarkable one, including earning two gold medals with the U.S. team and becoming one of the first women in the world to participate in a paid professional league. But in 2010, she took a hit that ended her career and changed her life as she dealt with the long and difficult ramifications of concussions. She’s had a long road back (profiled extensively in the Washington Post) and is now speaking out about what needs to be done, including testifying on Capitol Hill this spring. Of particular interest to her: The real dangers for girls who, it’s been shown, are almost twice as likely as boys to get concussions when playing with similar rules and safety equipment.

Scurry sat down with Jeffrey Brown to discuss the Cup, her work and her own personal experiences and trials, including difficulties with depression, surgery, anxiety and memory. A passionate advocate on this issue, we were so moved when she came by today that we recorded an additional conversation with her about what she went through. “A year ago, I would have had trouble sitting here with you,” Scurry told Jeff. You can watch it above.