PORTLAND, Ore. – Racing Louisville FC selected the playing rights to midfielder Tobin Heath in the National Women’s Soccer League Expansion Draft on Thursday night.
“Tobin has been with our club since we started in 2013 and has given so much to the Portland Thorns, playing a massive role in winning two NWSL Championships and an NWSL Shield,” said Thorns FC owner Merritt Paulson. “Tobin gave 110% every time she put on a Thorns kit. I am forever a huge Tobin fan and wish her the very best. Thank you, Tobin.”
Heath, 32, joined Thorns FC in the NWSL’s inaugural season in 2013 and helped guide Portland to a pair of NWSL Championships (2013, 2017) and an NWSL Shield (2016). A three-time NWSL Best XI selection (2016, 2018, 2019) with Thorns FC, Heath appeared in 70 regular-season matches (63 starts), recording 12 goals and 24 assists.
“Tobin is a world-class player who has been an instrumental part of this club over the past eight seasons,” said Gavin Wilkinson, Thorns FC general manager and president of soccer. “Only being able to protect two U.S. players made this an extremely difficult decision. Tobin will leave a lasting legacy here in Portland on this club and community, and we wish her well.”
She featured in nine playoff matches for Portland, tallying three goals and one assist. In 2013, Heath was named NWSL Championship game MVP as she scored a dramatic long-distance free-kick goal in Portland’s 2-1 win over the Western New York Flash.
“Tobin has been key to the identity and success of the Thorns,” said Thorns FC head coach Mark Parsons. “I have had the privilege of seeing her perform from a front-row seat over the last five years, which has been a gift in itself. I am thankful for my time working with Tobin and know Portland will forever be grateful for the passion, commitment and extraordinary moments she gave us.”
Louisville also selected Addisyn Merrick (North Carolina Courage), Julia Ashley (OL Reign), Jennifer Cudjoe (Sky Blue FC), Cece Kizer (Houston Dash), Katie Lund (Washington Spirit), Alanna Kennedy (Orlando Pride), Lauren Milliet (North Carolina Courage), Kaleigh Riehl (Sky Blue FC), Caitlin Foord (playing rights, Orlando Pride), Katie McClure (Washington Spirit), Erin Simon (Houston Dash), Michelle Betos (OL Reign) and Christen Press (playing rights, Utah Royals FC).