Major League Soccer will be among several leagues in the United States to introduce concussion substitution trials for the 2021 season, the country’s soccer federation says.
The rule will allow teams two additional replacements for suspected concussions, regardless of the number of substitutions already used.
It will be implemented by US Soccer alongside a concussion task force made up of representatives from organisations including the MLS and National Women’s Soccer League, which will also trial the rule.
“Adopting this new rule is an important step as we continue to lead the way in player safety,” US Soccer chief medical officer George Chiampas said in a statement.
“It was critical to come together as a sport with our professional leagues and proceed in this pilot program, prioritising the well-being of our players above all.
“We’ve worked hard to raise awareness of head injuries in soccer over the last several years, and this change should go a long way in protecting players suspected of suffering a concussion.”
World soccer’s rule-making body IFAB in December gave the go-ahead for trials of additional concussion subs.
The rule was in place during the 2021 SheBelieves Cup in February, and England’s top-flight Premier League and Women’s Super League are also trialling the system.