Soccer Star Alecko Eskandarian Will Speak at Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association Conference

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MANALAPAN, N.J.—The Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association (NORA) has announced that two-time Major League Soccer all-star Alecko Eskandarian will speak at the association’s 28th annual general conference. This year’s conference will take place from Sept.21 to 22 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Scottsdale Resorts in Scottsdale, Arizona. Now a senior manager for player relations and competition in the MLS, Eskandarian played 125 soccer games in his seven-year career with D.C. United, Toronto FC, Real Salt Lake, Chivas USA, and the Los Angeles Galaxy. Additionally, he acted as assistant coach for the New York Cosmos and Philadelphia United.

In his first professional game, Eskandarian sustained his first concussion. Eskandarian explained, “I found myself on the wrong end of a major collision while jumping for a header. I got undercut, flipped over and landed on my head. I didn’t know it at the time, but the first game of my rookie season was the beginning of the end of my professional soccer career.”

Eskandarian sustained several more concussions throughout his career, which led to a variety of physical, mental and visual symptoms. He retired as a player in 2010, after his fourth concussion. Now, he dedicates his free time to advocating for concussion awareness education, sharing the story of his concussions, his treatment and his rehabilitation.

Eskandarian said, “soccer is unique because players commonly use their heads during the run of play. And, as soccer has become more physical, and players have gotten faster and stronger, unintentional head collisions have become more violent leading to an increase in the number of reported concussions. For all the progress we’ve made in the last few years, education about head injuries still needs to be emphasized more by leagues, coaches and trainers. Vision-related problems in particular are often overlooked during initial evaluation and in some cases symptoms may not be present until a few days, weeks, or even longer following the incident.”

Registration for the NORA Clinical Skills Pre-Conference (Sept. 19 to 20) and the 28th annual NORA General Conference is now open.