Former USMNT Star Bruce Murray Opens Up About Lapses in Memory, Concussion Symptoms

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 5, 2022

Shaun Botterill

Former United States men's national soccer team forward Bruce Murray appeared Tuesday on CBS Mornings to discuss a history of concussions that may have led to him developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

During the interview, Murray divulged that he suffered multiple concussions during a playing career that saw him play collegiately at Clemson from 1984 to 1987 and professionally from 1988 to 1995:

CBS Mornings @CBSMornings

U.S. soccer star Bruce Murray has recently struggled with lapses in memory, including an incident where he didn't recognize his wife and son.<br><br>He and his family say that years of concussions and aggressive play may have caused him to develop CTE, a disease with no cure. <a href="https://t.co/7ndIAlthXU">pic.twitter.com/7ndIAlthXU</a>

Murray said that he suffers from sensitivity to light and has trouble balancing at times, but the most jarring symptom of the concussions has been memory loss.

The 56-year-old Maryland native recounted taking a trip to a grocery store with his wife and his son recently. Murray said he stayed in the car, and when his wife and son returned, he initially didn't recognize them.

Although CTE can't officially be diagnosed while someone is alive, a scan of Murray's brain showed that the tissue had atrophied, which is usually a sign of CTE.

There is growing belief that heading the ball repetitively could play a role in brain injuries, and Murray suggested that USA Soccer should look into potentially banning the technique.

In 85 career appearances for the United States senior national team, Murray scored 21 goals, including one at the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

After a professional playing career that saw him compete in the United States, England, Scotland and Switzerland, Murray retired in 1995 amid mounting injuries.

Murray got into coaching in the years following his retirement and still coaches youth soccer.


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