By Charles Boehm
Editor’s note: This article is a follow-up to SoccerWire.com’s feature story about Chicago Red Stars midfielder Lori Chalupny on Sept. 3, 2013.
Following the publication of “Missing woman: Concussion debate strands Lori Chalupny in USWNT purgatory,” earlier this month, the U.S. Soccer Federation contacted SoccerWire.com to take issue with several aspects of the piece about Chalupny’s ongoing exclusion from the U.S. Women’s National Team due to concussion issues.
The federation says that it is “not accurate” to state that “Dr. Ruben Echemendia, the one expert who decides whether [Chalupny] is eligible to return to the USWNT, refuses to,” as our piece does, with USSF emphasizing that the evalution was a collective process.
“U.S. Soccer made the final decision on Lori Chalupny’s eligibility to play for the National Team,” said federation spokesperson Neil Buethe. “Dr. Ruben Echemendia was one of many medical professionals that provided input to U.S. Soccer during that decision-making process.”
Buethe also objected to the “unfair and leading assumption that it is U.S. Soccer’s responsibility to re-evaluate a player,” as expressed in the following sentence fromSoccerWire.com’s piece: “That’s not to imply that Echemendia or anyone from U.S. Soccer has contacted her to clarify her situation lately.”
Said Buethe: “Lori has not reached out to U.S. Soccer at any time to request a re-evaluation. If she did, we would consider her request.”
SoccerWire.com also contacted Chalupny, who is currently serving as assistant women’s soccer coach at Maryville University in Missouri, to relay the information conveyed to us by Buethe.
She reiterated that she has not heard from the federation in four years and expressed surprise at the idea that U.S. Soccer has been waiting for her to establish contact with regards to her case. She remains hopeful that her medical status will be re-evaluated by the federation.