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MLS Implements Concussion Substitutions For 2021 Season

Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Major League Soccer has implemented the use of a concussion substitute for their upcoming 2021 season, the league announced today.

During the 2021 season, “the program allows for up to two substitutions per team during a match to replace players suffering from a concussion or a suspected concussion, regardless of the number of substitutions already used.”

“A concussion task force comprised of sporting and medical leaders from MLS, NWSL, U.S. Soccer, the USL and NISA, have worked collaboratively to implement the initiative and have been approved by The IFAB and FIFA to participate in the trial,” the press release added.

Furthermore, MLS will continue to allow clubs a maximum of five substitutions during games. Those substitutions must be made in three blocks.

The two concussion substitutions are allowed to be utilized despite how many “normal” substitutions have already been made.

“A concussion substitution may be made:

  • immediately after a concussion occurs or is suspected;
  • after an on-field assessment, and/or after an off-field assessment; or
  • at any other time when a concussion occurs or is suspected (including when a player has previously been assessed and has returned to the field of play).”

“When a “concussion substitute” is used, the opposing team then has the option to use an “additional” substitute and an additional substitution opportunity for any reason which may or may not be used at the same time as the opposing team’s concussion substitution.”