Tobin Powell Heath (born May 29, 1988) is an American professional soccer player. She is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women's World Cup silver medalist and gold medalist who plays for the United States women's national soccer team. According to the United States Soccer Federation, Heath is "perhaps the USA's most skillful player". Heath usually plays as a flank midfielder or the attacking midfielder. Heath was the first overall pick in Women's Professional Soccer 2010 draft. She currently plays professionally for the Portland Thorns FC of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL).
Early life and education
Heath was born in Morristown, New Jersey to parents Jeff and Cindy Heath. She grew up in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. Heath has a younger brother, Jeffrey, and two older sisters, Perry and Katie, who are active in Athletes in Action and Champions for Christ. Heath has said herself she is a proud and devout follower of her Christian faith and is very close to her family Her oldest sister, Katie, played NCAA Division I tennis for the University of Delaware.
Heath graduated from Ridge High School in Basking Ridge, New Jersey in 2006, where she was four-year letter winner and a three-time Parade All-American in soccer. She also played for the PDA Wildcats team that won the 2003 Club National Championship.
Heath was ranked as the No. 2 recruit in the nation in the Class of 2006 by Soccer Buzz magazine. She was named to the Parade Magazine All-America team in 2003, 2004 and 2005. Other awards include: Gatorade New Jersey Player of the Year, Newark Star Ledger's First Team All-State squad, and Newark Star-Ledger's New Jersey Player of the Year.
North Carolina Tar Heels
Heath committed to attend University of North Carolina (UNC) heading into her junior year of high school and did not play high school soccer her senior year, opting instead to train with boys. She was a consensus freshman All-America on UNC’s 2006 national championship team and started 22 of the 23 games she played for the Tar Heels at the left midfield spot, scoring four goals with nine assists. As a sophomore, she scored two goals with five assists and was named to the First-Team NSCAA All-American and First-Team All-ACC. As a junior for the Tar Heels, she scored eight goals with eight assists, helping UNC to a 25–1–2 record and the NCAA title.
As a senior at UNC, she scored five goals with 10 assists for the Tar Heels, who compiled a record of 23–3–1 and pulled out 1–0 victories in both the NCAA semifinal and championship game. She was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team. She was also the first runner-up for the MAC Hermann Trophy, given to college soccer’s top player.
Heath finished her UNC career with 19 goals and 32 assists. She helped lead UNC to NCAA Women's Soccer Championship titles in 2006, 2008 and 2009 and four straight Atlantic Coast Conference titles. UNC soccer coach Anson Dorrance said himself that Heath preferred to nutmeg opposing players rather than dribble the ball around them. Heath played under #98 at UNC. Heath's academic major at UNC was Communications.
Women's Professional Soccer, 2010–11
In 2010, she was the first overall pick in the Women's Professional Soccer 2010 college draft and was selected by the expansion Atlanta Beat. After suffering an injury to her right ankle in her third appearance for the Beat, she did not play for the remainder of the 2010 season. She started in all three of her appearances for the club.
On December 10, 2010, Heath, along with Beat teammates Eniola Aluko and Angie Kerr were traded to Sky Blue FC in return for the fourth and eighth pick in 2011 WPS Draft and "future considerations in 2012." Heath made twelve appearances for Sky Blue, starting in three games. The team finished fifth during regular season play with 5 wins, 4 draws, and 9 losses.
New York Fury, 2012
With the folding of WPS in 2012, Tobin Heath joined New York Fury of WPSL Elite League. She played one game with the team after recovering from an ankle injury during the start of the season and later being called to the national team.
Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), 2013–2014
In 2013, Heath signed a six-month contract with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in the top-tier French league, Division 1 Féminine until the end of the season on May 23, 2013. She scored five goals in the twelve appearances she made for the club.
Heath returned to PSG in September 2013.
Portland Thorns FC, 2013–present
The newly established National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced on January 11, 2013 that Heath was one of the seven players allocated to the Portland Thorns FC for their initial roster as part of the NWSL Player Allocation. After completing the season with Paris-Saint Germain, she joined the Thorns in July 2013, helping them attain a third-place finish in the NWSL. The Thorns won the 2013 NWSL Championship after defeating the Western New York Flash 2–0, with Heath scoring the game-winning goal on a free kick. She was voted Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the championship game.With the Thorns, Heath was also named to the 2013 NWSL starting 11.
During the beginning of the 2016 NWSL season, Heath notched 5 assists in 5 games, and earned the title of NWSL Player of the Month for April. Heath also scored her first goal of the 2016 season against the Washington Spirit, which was voted NWSL goal of the week by fans. Heath was also named NWSL Player of the Week for week 6.
Correct as of May 21, 2016
National youth teams
Heath played on the U-16 USA Women's National Team from 2003–2004, with the U-17 team in 2004–05 and with the USA Women's U-20 National Team at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women's World Championship in Russia. She was a standout at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Russia, was one of five players to make the World Cup roster without participating in CONCACAF Qualifying, and was the third youngest player on the World Cup roster. Heath played in 24 matches for the U-20s in 2006, scoring five goals including two in international matches (scored her first international goal at the U-20 level against Canada in April in Brazil). Heath finished her U-20 international career with 14 caps and two goals. Heath started for the silver medal winning USA Women's team in the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil.
Senior national team debut, 2008
Heath made her first appearance for the senior team on January 18, 2008 against Finland in the Four Nations Tournament. Heath nutmegged a Finland player on her first touches in her first cap. She was a reserve midfielder on the U.S. squad at the 2008 Summer Olympics and was the youngest squad member (age 20). She earned three caps during the tournament where the Women's National Team went on to win the Gold Medal. Heath was one of just three active collegians chosen to play on the U.S. Team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. In 2008 alone, Heath earned her first 17 caps and scored her first two goals, the first-ever WNT goal against China at the Algarve Cup.
Heath was named the 2009 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year and played in two matches for the USA WNT, both against Canada in July 2009. Heath did not play for the USA in 2010 as she recovered from illness and a major ankle injury suffered early in the WPS season that eventually required surgery.
2011 FIFA Women's World Cup
Heath made her FIFA Women's World Cup debut at the age of 23 during the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany, playing in the second half during the USA WNT's group-stage match against Colombia. Heath earned a total of four caps in the Women's World Cup Tournament, the remaining three coming from the quarter-final against Brazil (108th minute substitution), the semi-final against France (87th minute substitution), and the final against Japan. In the World Cup Final Heath was one of the players elected to take a penalty kick for the United States. Heath had her shot blocked by Japan's goalie.
2012 London Olympics
Heath was a member of the 2012 Olympic team, playing in all six matches, starting and playing the entire match in four of them. She had three assists, against France, Colombia, and New Zealand. Against France, at the 66th minute, she ran down the left flank with the ball received from a through pass from Megan Rapinoe, and sent a crossing pass to Alex Morgan who scored the last goal of the match making the final score 4–2. Against Colombia, she played a 1–2 pass with Wambach for her 2nd assist. Her third assist came in the quarter final match against New Zealand, at the 87th minute, when she provided a long ball down the left flank to Sydney Leroux, who scored through the legs of the goalkeeper Jenny Bindon, sealing the match at the final score of 2–0.
2015 FIFA Women's World Cup
Heath was a regular starter on the U.S. National Women's Team in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada, starting in five of the U.S.'s seven games. Heath earned a total of six caps in the Women's World Cup Tournament. In the World Cup Final Heath was one of three U.S. women to score a goal, in the 54th minute, on an assist from Morgan Brian.
2016 Rio Olympics
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Heath earned three caps as she started three of the U.S.'s four games. She recorded two assists.
Heath was named NWSL Olympics Player of Match Day 1 and 2 in fan voting.
|Key (expand for notes on “international goals” and sorting)|
|Location||Geographic location of the venue where the competition occurred|
Sorted by country name first, then by city name
|Lineup||Start – played entire match|
on minute (off player) – substituted on at the minute indicated, and player was substituted off at the same time
|#||NumberOfGoals.goalNumber scored by the player in the match (alternate notation to Goal in match)|
|Min||The minute in the match the goal was scored. For list that include caps, blank indicates played in the match but did not score a goal.|
|Assist/pass||The ball was passed by the player, which assisted in scoring the goal. This column depends on the availability and source of this information.|
|penalty or pk||Goal scored on penalty-kick which was awarded due to foul by opponent. (Goals scored in penalty-shoot-out, at the end of a tied match after extra-time, are not included.)|
|Score||The match score after the goal was scored.|
Sorted by goal difference, then by goal scored by the player's team
|Result||The final score.|
Sorted by goal difference in the match, then by goal difference in penalty-shoot-out if it is taken, followed by goal scored by the player's team in the match, then by goal scored in the penalty-shoot-out. For matches with identical final scores, match ending in extra-time without penalty-shoot-out is a tougher match, therefore precede matches that ended in regulation
|aet||The score at the end of extra-time; the match was tied at the end of 90' regulation|
|pso||Penalty-shoot-out score shown in parenthesis; the match was tied at the end of extra-time|
|Light-purple background color – exhibition or closed door international friendly match|
|Light-yellow background color – match at an invitational tournament|
|Light-orange background color – Olympic women's football qualification match|
|Light-blue background color – FIFA women's world cup qualification match|
|Blue background color – FIFA women's world cup final tournament|
NOTE: some keys may not apply for a particular football player
Honors and awards
University of North Carolina
- NCAA Women's Soccer Champions: 2006, 2008, 2009
- Olympic Gold Medal: 2008, 2012
- FIFA Women's World Cup: 2015 (champion), 2011 (runner-up)
- Algarve Cup: 2008, 2011, 2013, 2015
- Four Nations Tournament: 2008, 2011
- NWSL 2013 Championship
- NWSL Goal of the Week Week 6 (2016)
- NWSL Player of the Week Week 6 (2016)
- NWSL Player of the Month April 2016
- NWSL 2013 Championship MVP
- PSG Best Player of the Year (Le Prix des Supporters): 2013
- U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year (1): 2009
- NCAA All-American First-Team (2): 2007, 2009
- ACC Conference First-Team (3): 2007, 2008, 2009
- NWSL Olympics Player of Match : Day 1
- NWSL Olympics Player of Match : Day 2
Aside from soccer, Heath has said she enjoys playing a multitude of sports, such as tennis and surfing, and enjoys being outside when given the time and opportunity. Tobin was named after her great grandmother's last name.
In popular culture
Heath was featured along with her national teammates in the EA Sports' FIFA video game series in FIFA 16, the first time women players were included in the game. In September 2015, she was ranked by EA Sports as the #15 women's player in the game. Heath is also one of the two women on the game with 5 star skills alongside Marta of Brazil.
Ticker Tape Parade and White House Honor
Following the United States' win at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, Heath and her teammates became the first women's sports team to be honored with a Ticker Tape Parade in New York City. Each player received a key to the city from Mayor Bill de Blasio. In October of the same year, the team was honored by President Barack Obama at the White House.