SAN JOSE, Calif. — The retired soccer player Brandi Chastain remains best known for scoring the winning shootout goal in the 1999 World Cup final against China and for the jersey-shedding celebration that followed.
Now 47, a mother and a coach, Chastain hopes her latest move will do more for soccer than that. She has agreed to donate her brain to researchers at Boston University, pioneers in the study of concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease.
C.T.E., believed to be caused by subconcussive blows to the head, is a hot topic in sports like boxing and football. But C.T.E. has also been found in several male soccer players, and researchers believe that heading the ball is a primary culprit.
No female athletes…