Who is OL Reign’s forward Tobin Heath?
American forward Tobin Powell Heath was born in Morristown, New Jersey, United States on the 29th of May 1988. As she grew up in Basking Ridge, New Jersey her sisters were active in Athletes in Action and Champions for Christ. Heath was also very active in the sporting industry as she started playing at the age of 4 in the back of a YMCA. She played soccer with Ridge High School for three years whilst she attended the school and also played for the 2003 Club National Champion PDA Wildcats team. In the class of 2006, she was ranked as the No.2 recruit in the nation by Soccer Buzz magazine and was named to the Parade Magazine All-America team in 2005.
As she moved on to university, she played soccer with the North Carolina Tar Heels in her consensus freshman year after training with the boys in her senior year and perfecting her skills. She was part of the All-America 2006 national team and made 23 appearances (22 of them were part of the starting squad) as she scored 4 goals and assisted on 9. In the following years as a senior, she was involved in 15 goals for the club and scored 5 as she assisted on 10. Heath helped the university team to the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship titles in 2006,2008 and 2009 and four straight Atlantic Coast Conference titles.
She played with the New Jersey Wildcats from 2004 to 2006 where she helped the team be crowned USL W-League Runners up in 2004 after assisting in becoming Champions of the USL W-League Northeast Division in 2004, 2005 and 2006 and also helped win the USL W-League Championship in 2005. In that following year, she played for Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues as they finished their second season in their division and successfully made it to the 2007 Conference Semi-final. Following on from her year with Hudson Valley she went onto play one season with California’s Pali Blues in 2009 as they went onto win the USL W-League Western Conference title and the W-League Championship title.
After such an impressive previous few years, she was the first pick overall in the Women’s Professional Soccer 2010 college draft and was selected by the expansion team Atlanta Beat. However, after suffering an injury to her ankle she had to miss the remainder of the 2010 season and only made 3 appearances, in which she started in each one. Despite her injury, she was traded to Sky Blue FC in return for the fourth and eighth pick in the 2011 WPS Draft as well as future considerations. During her time with Sky Blue, she made 12 appearances and started in the main team in 3 of them.
However, with the folding of Women’s Professional Soccer in 2012, she joined New York Fury of the WPSL Elite League and at the start of the season she was recovering from an ankle injury. After returning from her injury she played on game with the club and was later called to the national team. In 2012, she was a member of the U.S. Olympic team and played in all of their 6 matches. In all matches she played in the starting team and played the full 90 minutes in 4 of the 6 matches and recorded 3 assists throughout the whole tournament.
Following her performance with previous club and through national duty, she signed a 6-month contract with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in 2013 who were playing in the top-tier French league Division 1 Féminine. During her short time with the club she scored 5 goals out of 12 appearances she made for them. After the newly established National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced in January of 2013 that Heath was on of the seven players that were allocated to the Portland Thorns FC in their initial roster as part of the NWSL Player Allocation. After her 6-month stint with PSG she helped the club achieve third place in the NWSL and helped them win the 2013 NWSL Championship after she scored the winning goal in their victory over the Western New York Flash. For her direct free kick she was voted as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the championship game.
She returned to PSG briefly in the September of 2013 until June 2014, however, she returned with a sore right foot after the 2013 NWSL Championship. During her second stint with the club, she made 7 appearances but didn’t tally any goals against her record. As she returned to the Portland Thorns, she notched 5 assists in 5 games after two of them came from a 2-1 victory against the Orlando Pride as she earned NWSL Player of the Month for April. She also scored her first goal of the 2016 season against Washington Spirit which had her goal voted for NWSL goal of the week by fans. She was also named as the NWSL Player of the Week for week 6.
Suffering an ankle injury during a 2017 NWSL Championship game she underwent surgery at the start of 2018. Due to this she missed the first 4 games of the 2018 season in aid of her recovery. Heath returned to the Thorns line-up in the April of 2018 against the Utah Royals in which she entered as a substitute in the 57th minute and made a breakthrough as she scored 10 minutes after coming on. She ended her season with 7 goals and added 7 assists to her career. She was named to the NWSL Team of the Month for August and scored another goal during their 2-1 win over the Seattle Reign in the semi-final, setting up their rematch against North Carolina Courage in the final. She was named one of 5 nominees for the NWSL Most Valuable Player award however she lost to fellow teammate Lindsay Horan. She was also named to the 2018 NWSL Best XI.
During the 2019 season, she started it by winning both the NWSL Goal of the Week and Player of the Week during the first week of play. In the May of 2019, she was named for the squad for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She started in 6 of the 7 matches as the national team became the second nation after Germany to successfully defend the title. Following her season with Portland Thorns, she moved over to England where she joined Manchester United Women in September of 2020 on a one-year contract. She made her debut for the club in the October of the same year as she came on in the 70th minute, registering an assist in their 3-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion.
Heath scored her first Manchester Derby goal in the November of that year in their 2-2 draw against Manchester City Women. In the following month, she was named WSL Player of the Month for the month of November. In the December, she was named to the FIFA FIFPro Women’s World11 at The Best FIFA Football Awards 2020. However, due to another ankle injury, she was side-lined and was announced in the April of 2021 that she had since suffered a further knee injury in which she had to return to the states to try and rehab in time for the summer’s Olympic Games, in which she prematurely ended her debut season with United. However, it was announced at the end of her contract that she would not be renewing and she would be leaving the club.
Following on from her departure from United, she returned to England and signed for Arsenal Women on the 3rd of September 2021. She made her debut as a substitute in their home game against Manchester City as they won 5-0. However, she was ruled out for the conclusion of the season due to a minor hamstring injury that she sustained in training. It was agreed mutually from Heath and Arsenal to end her contract early in the April of 2022 due to her injuries and she left the club with 9 appearances and 2 goals.
After departing from Arsenal early, she returned to the states for more injury healing but also returned to the NWSL on the 16th of June 2022 as she signed for OL Reign ahead of their 22/23 season. As it stands, she has over 124 league appearances throughout her whole career and 23 league goals. In total, including the National Cup, League Cup and Continental Cup she has 152 appearances and 28 goals with hope of adding more in her upcoming season.