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TCO physician helps at International Champions Cup soccer match

August 1, 2018 - TCO

TCO physician helps at International Champions Cup soccer match

Twin Cities Orthopedics physician Christopher Larson, MD, was in familiar territory Tuesday night at US Bank Stadium, but this time Dr. Larson, a team physician for the Minnesota Vikings, was watching a different kind of football. International club soccer teams Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League and AC Milan of the Italian League Serie A met in an International Champions Cup game, and Dr. Larson was happy to help.

Dr. Christopher LarsonDr. Larson provided medical coverage in 2016 during an exhibition match between AC Milan and Chelsea that served as the first sporting event at US Bank Stadium, the home field of the Vikings. Russell Steves, M.Ed., PT, ATC, the head athletic trainer for Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls, organizes medical coverage at each venue during the international clubs’ United States tour and asked Dr. Larson if he was interested in being a part of the action.

Soccer carries its own unique injury profiles that have similarities and differences when compared to American football, Dr. Larson said.

“Ultimately, you still have to see what the player did or what was done to the player to try and define the mechanism of injury in order to determine what specific problem you are dealing with,” he said. “In soccer, it can be more challenging to determine if an injury is serious or not and often a player will call for their medical staff, or referees or other players will call for them if it appears serious.”

At the event on Tuesday, each team had a full-time primary care sports medicine physician from their respective clubs that travels with them, year-round. They are first to respond and manage nearly every issue.

“I was simply there to provide additional support when needed,” Dr. Larson said. “I helped make sure they meet up with the emergency medical services prior to the match, located the ambulances, arrange medical appointments and MRIs for players while they are in town. If there was an emergency, I would help facilitate getting the player or coach medical attention at the nearest hospital.”

Whether the game on the field is soccer or American football, the experience is about as good as it can get for Dr. Larson.

“It is a beautiful facility,” Dr. Larson said of US Bank Stadium. “The atmosphere is always fantastic, you run into friends and former players on the sidelines and the hot dogs are pretty good as well!”

Other TCO team members at the AC Milan-Tottenham match included Chris Bailey, PT, DPT; David Bloomquist, ATC; Adam Buchalski, ATC; and Mike Shirilla, DPT, SCS, who were members of the stretcher crew.