Who Is Tobin Heath? New Details On The U.S. Women's Soccer Forward Competing In The World Cup

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Who Is Tobin Heath? New Details On The U.S. Women's Soccer Forward Competing In The World Cup

The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup has kicked off, with the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team beating Thailand in a stunning 13-0 game, and winning their second game versus Chile 3-0. The World Cup takes place from June 11th to 20th, and includes 24 teams total, including the U.S., Chile, Sweden and Thailand in group F.

The U.S. team is the most successful team in international women’s soccer, winning three Women’s World Cup titles and four Olympic gold medals! And with their recent lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation for unequal pay, if they win the entire tournament, it’s all the more reason for the Federation to listen.

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In following the team, it means getting to know the players and their individual lives, on and off the field. Who is Tobin Heath? Here are 5 things to know about the forward for the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team.

1. She’s been playing soccer from a young age.

When she was four years old, Heath began practicing soccer in the back of a YMCA. She played soccer in high school her first three years, and was named the number two recruit in the nation in the class of 2006.

2. Her career began in college.

Heath eventually went on to attend the University of North Carolina, playing on the Tar Heels for all four years, scoring numerous goals and assisting her fellow teammates. She was runner-up for the Hermann Trophy, and was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team.

In addition to playing on the Tar Heels, Heath helped her team win titles in 2006, 2008 and 2009 for UNC to NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship, as well as four Atlantic Coast Conference titles. Her soccer coach, Anson Dorrance, also noted at this time Heath’s unique take against other teams, choosing to “nutmeg” the ball instead of dribble around them. A nutmeg is when a player gets the ball through the opposing player’s legs.

3. She started playing professionally after college.

In 2010, she began playing for Atlanta Beat but only played one season after suffering an ankle injury. She was traded to Sky Blue FC, making 12 appearances for the team and playing for one season, and then moved onto the New York Fury. For the 2013-2014 season, she played with the Paris Saint-Germain Féminines, and moved to France before joining the National Women’s Soccer League. Currently, in addition to playing on USWNT, she also plays for the Portland Thorns FC.

Heath is also considered an older player and somewhat a veteran. But according to her bio, she doesn’t mind it one bit.

“I think I’ve always been a younger player and now I’m a veteran of sorts. It’s been a natural kind of progression and it’s been something I’ve really enjoyed. I was always, always younger, and it’s pretty cool now to take in all that experience from the past players, and use that to shape what kind of player and teammate I want to be. I love the responsibility of being an older player. I love this feeling to step up for your team and make something happen,” she said.

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4. She’s played in World Cups and the Olympics.

Heath played at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, her first appearance, and at only 23 years old. She also played in the 2015 World Cup, helping the U.S. win against Japan. Heath was a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, which took place in London, and helped assist against France, Colombia, and New Zealand. She also played in the 2016 Rio Olympics before the U.S. was eliminated.

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5. She’s religious.

Heath has stated that she’s a “proud and devout” Christian.

In an interview with Christian Today, she said, “I was fortunate enough to grow up in a Christian home and an awesome family. Our family was just really passionate about Jesus. I had a great experience growing up. Like many kids, I wanted to do my own thing so it wasn’t until around the end of high school and start of college that I started to develop my own faith.

I stopped piggy-backing off of my family’s (faith) and wanted to figure out what it was all about. I got super interested in things and obviously from there it’s just grown. Like anyone who has a relationship (with Jesus) knows, the coolest thing about it is that it’s infinite how much you can learn and begin to understand. It’s something that grabbed me."

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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.