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Soccer players suffering from concussions


A health warning for young athletes.

New findings are raising concerns about the risk of concussions -- not just for football players -- but now for soccer players as well.

ABC's Jim Avila is in Washington with more.

The most popular sport in the world,  more American kids play soccer than tackle football or baseball. 

Long encouraged by parents as the safe alternative to its violent U.S. cousin.... is this morning linked to CTE, the very same repetitive head trauma disease seen in some pro football players.

New evidence that one of soccer's most exciting plays can cause brain damage.

"You have to very careful when your son or daughter is playing soccer.  You have to very congnizant that they can injure their head."

It's this move... The header... That appears so dangerous for youngsters.
Players typically head the ball up to 12 times in a single game
.
Watch again that black and white sphere traveling up to 50 miles an hour.

And in soccer there is nothing between skull and leather.

"Our son Patrick was doing headers at the age of 3."

Patrick Grange died nearly 2 years ago.  His brain donated to scientists at Boston university studying CTE.... and those doctors made a startling discovery.

The 29 year-old is the first soccer player found to have CTE. The frontal lobe of his brain badly damaged...  The same mind-numbing disease that leads to dementia and depression.

"Soccer is a great sport and its not something we should steer away from.  I'm saying that concussions and constant  headers as a youth and under the age of 14 should not happen."