MLS to Present Medical Symposium on Athletic Injuries Before Soccer Combine

Leading sports medicine professionals to address injuries affecting elite athletes

Fort Lauderdale, FL—January 3, 2012

Sports medicine professionals, athletic trainers and physical therapists will learn about the latest research in the treatment and prevention of soccer-related injuries at the Major League Soccer Medical Symposium, presented by Hospital for Special Surgery in conjunction with the Professional Soccer Athletic Trainers Society and MLS Team Physician Society on Saturday, January 7, in Fort Lauderdale.


As soccer players come from across the country for the 2012 adidas MLS Player Combine, the symposium will bring together some of the nation’s leading sports medicine professionals to discuss assessing and managing sports-related injuries.


"Each year we make progress in how sports injuries are treated in professional athletes," said Riley J. Williams, III, M.D., symposium director and orthopedic surgeon in the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. "These presentations are designed to further educate team physicians, athletic trainers and physical therapists who work with high school, collegiate and professional soccer players on prevention, but also on how to help them heal these injuries most effectively when they do occur."

Sessions at the January 7 symposium that will be of particular interest for physical therapists, athletic trainers and other members of the care team include:

  • Current Concussion Management Protocols and Outcomes in MLS
    Ruben J. Echemendia, Ph.D., clinical neuropsychologist, Major League Soccer
  • ACL Reconstruction in Elite Soccer Players
    Riley J. Williams, III, M.D., sports medicine orthopedic surgeon, Hospital for Special Surgery.
    Head team physician, New York Red Bulls 
    Head team physician, New Jersey Nets 
  • Return to Play Following ACL Reconstruction
    Lawrence J. Lemak, M.D., medical director, Major League Soccer
    Founder, Lemak Sports Medicine & Orthopedics
  • Union of European Football Associations Injury Surveillance Study: Injury Patterns and Outcomes in Elite European Soccer Players
    Bert R. Mandelbaum, M.D., assistant medical director, Major League Soccer
    Assistant medical director, Santa Monica Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Group
    Team Physician, U.S. Soccer, Pepperdine University LA Galaxy and Chivas USA
  • Common Back Injuries in the Soccer Athlete
    Peter J. Moley, M.D., physiatrist, Hospital for Special Surgery

"Caring for injured athletes demands an incredible commitment by the players, coaches, physicians, and athletic trainers," emphasized Dr. Williams, who is also head team physician for the New York Red Bulls. "New technological improvements and care strategies come about every day, but unless the athlete’s medical team is working in close collaboration, the benefits to be had by these innovations may not reach their full potential."

Team physicians and athletic trainers who treat athletes all over the country will participate in the symposium. "When team physicians, physical therapists, athletic trainers and surgeons are all in a room together, we can better identify the functional similarities and differences in the treatment and management of injuries, which will ultimately make all of us better at our jobs," added Dr. Williams.

Additional guest faculty from around the country includes:

  • Theron Enns, ATC, head athletic trainer, Houston Dynamo
  • Wayne K. Gersoff, M.D., clinical instructor, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
    Chief medical officer, Colorado Rapids
  • Kaare Kolstad Jr., M.D., team physician, Houston Dynamo
    Clinical assistant professor, The Methodist Hospital Center for Orthopaedic Surgery
  • David R. McAllister, M.D., chief, sports medicine service, UCLA
    Professor of orthopaedic surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
  • Jaime A. Rojas, MS, ATC, CSCS, head athletic trainer, Colorado Rapids

Media interested in attending the event or speaking with Dr. Williams, please contact Tracy Hickenbottom, Public Relations at Hospital for Special Surgery, at 212.606.1197,

About Major League Soccer
Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. MLS features star players from the United States, Canada, and more than 50 countries. Major League Soccer’s 17th season will feature 19 clubs each playing 34 regular season matches, beginning March 10, 2012. Those clubs are Chicago Fire; Chivas USA; Colorado Rapids; Columbus Crew; D.C. United; FC Dallas; Houston Dynamo; 2011 MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy; New York Red Bulls; New England Revolution; Philadelphia Union; Real Salt Lake; San Jose Earthquakes; Seattle Sounders FC; Sporting Kansas City; Toronto FC; and, in their inaugural season, the Montreal Impact. For more information about MLS, log on to the League’s official website at

About Hospital for Special Surgery
Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. HSS is nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics and No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2017-2018), and is the first hospital in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. HSS has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. HSS is an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College and as such all Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are faculty of Weill Cornell. The hospital's research division is internationally recognized as a leader in the investigation of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. HSS has locations in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.


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