Headbangers Bawl – Some of MLS’s Best Talent Sidelined by Concussion
Posted on April 21, 2012 6:39 am
Ladies and gentleman, I give you Taylor Twellman. He scored 101 goals in 174 league appearances, seven goals in eleven Open Cup appearances, and an overall total of 109 goals in 190 games in all competitions.
To put it in the English terms that so many fans of the Beautiful Game who reside in the United States, yet fail to be aware of this brilliant individual, might be familiar with, he were a right brilliant lad, and a pity we did not see more of him.
Those familiar with his biography know that he is the grandson of a major league baseball player who died shortly after he was excluded from the 2006 World Cup roster. I recall this personal disappointment because I mentioned it to my partner, who is not a sports fan but understands personal stories. At the time, Wynalda thought he should have been included over Ching, whom he called “McBride with a tan.” I thought he should have been included over Josh Wolff. Both guys are still playing. Both guys will never accomplish what Twellman has.
He was sidelined barely past 30 and retired thereafter. Why?
It appears, these days, we worry about Post Concussion Syndrome.
Some like his work as an analyst, some think he shows promise, some, most of whom (I suspect) are too young and stupid to care who he is, dismiss him altogether.
But all who care about human beings and their health should take note of the caution MLS now exercises with brain injuries.
Twellman is not the only MLS stalwart to be so sidelined. So far this season, we have seen very little of Juan Pablo Angel, who, like Twellman, is one of the great goal scorers in league history, who, whether struggling with the Galaxy or rampaging with Chivas has provided an interesting comparison with Red Bulls, so far, successful campaign of goals-on-the-cheap, after eschewing a re-signing of the all-time Metro-Bulls scoring leader, with, first, Rodgers, then Cooper. Why has he sat? Concussion worries. The resurgence of Cooper might help to cement justification of jettisoning JPA.
Meanwhile, Seattle back up keeper and Puerto Rico first choice keeper Terry Boss has retired due to brain injury concerns. Pablo Mastroeni (for anybody who wishes to be less stupid and ignorant than Marcelo Balboa and the roughly nineteen thousand people who have sat next to him or have otherwise participated in the mispronunciation games, it is phoneticically pronounced mah-strow-eh-ni. You do not get any sort of culture cred by pronouncing Pablo’s surname the same as the actor surnamed “Mastroianni.” In fact, every time you do so, you demonstrate ignorance and justify Eurosnobbery, so, everyone, altogether, the man’s name is Mah (like a farm boy calling his mother) – Stro (like an ESPN anchor referring to an individual member of the Houston Astros) – Eh (as in short e, no “oy” “oi,” noranysuchagoddamnthingforpetessakehavingnotbeensuggestedbyanylettersbeforeyou) – Knee (as in, “We are the Knights who say, ‘Nee.’”)
For any brilliant person retired or sidelined from this noble game due to avoiding compounding brain injury or attempting to continue in spite of brain injury, we recognize you obtained those brain injuries because you were not shy in challenging for the ball, either to prevent a goal, as in the case of Terry Boss, or in trying to score a goal, as in the case of Taylor Twellman or Juan Pablo Angel, or, in the case of Pablo Please-Don’t-Call-him-”Mastroianni”-because-he-has-earned-the-right-to-be-called-Mastroeni-by-the-cheap-ass-people-wh0-employ-him Mastroeni, in trying to win possession for your team, we wish you the best of success, both in soccer and in your cognitive future generally. As much as we love the brilliant efforts of JPA and Pablo (Notmahstroplusthatgreekguywithbadhairandmusicwhosleptwiththebleachblondfromtv) Mastroeni, we want them to have full lives, which would include not suffering terrible consequences to prolong the efforts those of us seeing good soccer performed between Sea and Shining Sea might prefer they continue against their best interests.