Dr. Cindy Chang is NWSL’s first Chief Medical Officer

Washington Spirit's Jordan Baggett lies on stretcher during NWSL Challenge Cup Final (Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
Washington Spirit's Jordan Baggett lies on stretcher during NWSL Challenge Cup Final (Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /
Jordan Baggett of the Washington Spirit was stretchered off the field after colliding with an opponent during the NWSL Challenge Cup Final.  (Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /

Latest NWSL hire addresses players’ concerns

As January came to a close, a historic collective bargaining agreement was signed as the NWSL made a commitment to do better by its players. Higher salaries, paid parental leave, and a 401k program were among the changes laid out as well as an increased investment in players’ health and safety.

In an effort to honor their commitments, the NWSL announced the hiring of Dr. Cindy Chang as Chief Medical Officer.

This announcement came on the heels of an injury-riddled Challenge Cup final that saw a number of players seriously hurt including one that was carried off on a stretcher to an ambulance. These injuries also brought up the need to address how to adjust the preseason match schedule to eliminate, or at a minimum, to considerably reduce extreme fatigue and injury.

Dr. Chang, a specialist in primary care sports medicine, has an extensive résumé that includes joining Team USA as Chief Medical Officer at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and the 2012 London Olympics. She has decades of experience working with both college and professional athletes, currently works as a clinical professor in the Departments of Orthopedics and Family Consumer Medicine at UCSF, and has received a whole host of awards and accolades, all of which make her an ideal candidate for the position of Chief Medical Officer for the NWSL.

Perhaps even more reassuring than her impressive work history is her investment in women’s soccer through her daughter. Dr. Chang’s daughter, Calin Hudson, currently plays in France but was rostered in previous years with the North Carolina Courage and Washington Spirit in the NWSL.

I hope her proximity to the women’s professional soccer world through her daughter will give her better insight into the physical and mental demands on players at that level, and will spur her to protect the players as a mother would her child.

Next. NWSL Challenge Cup start time is absurd. dark

The NWSL players need someone who will provide the best care and will act as a fierce advocate for their overall well-being. Dr. Chang might just be the answer they’ve been looking for.