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Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe to Donate Brains for Concussion Research

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 30, 2016

HARRISON, NJ - JUNE 20:  Abby Wambach #20 of the USA celebrates with Megan Rapinoe #15  after passing Mia Hamm in alltime International total goals scored with her159th International goal against  Korea Republic during the first half of their game at Red Bull Arena on June 20, 2013 in Harrison, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

United States soccer stars Abby Wambach and Megan Rapinoe revealed during a discussion at Ohio State University on Monday that they will donate their brains posthumously for concussion research, according to Nick Clarkson of the Lantern.

Wambach's brain may be of particular interest to researchers, as the recently retired star was one of the most prolific strikers in the air in the history of the women's game and used her head to score countless goals.

According to Clarkson, "Rapinoe said she would follow suit as well, although she noted she doesn't use her head quite to the extent Wambach does."

The pair join former USWNT star Brandi Chastain as female soccer players who have agreed to donate their brains to science to help research chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

A number of former and current athletes have agreed to do so recently as well, including U.S. Soccer Hall of Famer Len Oliver, former soccer player and current ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman, NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and former Oakland Raiders George Atkinson, George Buehler and Art Thoms.

Wambach, 35, retired in December after one of the most decorated careers in the history of women's soccer. Her 184 international goals are the most in history among men and women. She was a FIFA World Cup champion in 2015 and a two-time Olympic gold medalist (2004, 2012), and she also won the 2012 FIFA Women's Player of the Year Award.

Rapinoe, 30, remains one of the USWNT's top players and certainly one of its most dynamic playmakers. She is currently recovering from a torn ACL suffered in December, making it unclear if she'll be able to participate in this summer's Rio Summer Olympics.

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