A PICKUP CULTURE
Her freshman year at UNC in 2006, the dorm Heath lived in had a soccer field right outside. “We’d always kind of end up out there at some point, whatever hour it was. At one or two in the morning, we’d go turn on the lights and play,” says Heath. “That was the story of our class, my group of friends; we always wanted to play, anytime, anywhere. That was our culture.” Their first visit to campus, the new soccer freshmen skipped orientation, where you pick out classes and pick up your laptops, and headed out to the field.
Fetzer Field (UNC’s game field) always had a sign posted that read “CLOSED,” but the friends always snuck in anyway. They also played in the dorm hallways, “even people who didn’t play soccer wanted to play; it was so fun.” They played in the parking garage, using trash cans as goals. They even snuck out onto the game field at midnight, several hours after winning the national championship. “Even though we’d just won this great thing, even though our season had ended in the best possible way, we still didn’t want it to be over,” remembers Heath with a grin.
AT HOME IN THE WORLD
Tobin’s known not only for her free-flowing style on the field, but also for her vagabond approach toward the world. She has no set home and instead prefers to drift from place to place, visiting one coast and then the other, hopping from one friend or family member’s house to the next. She’s got a few bags of her stuff at her sister’s house, a few bags of stuff at her parents’ house. “When people are like, ‘Yeah, you can come anytime you want,’ I literally come any time I want. I guess most people hear that and are like, ‘uh, thanks,’ and it never happens, but with me, if you invite me somewhere, and I think it would be a cool thing to do, I’ll probably do it. Don’t invite me some place unless you mean it!” laughs Tobin. “And I don’t mind sleeping on a couch or a floor, so that helps.”
In Chapel Hill, sidewalks are made out of brick, which is not ideal for skateboarding – Tobin’s main mode of transportation since she was a kid. “While you’re going down a hill, it’s like, do or die. You’re either going to make it or you’re not. Because a brick might just be missing,” says Tobin.
Anson Dorrance, North Carolina’s Women’s soccer coach, comments, “I lived in abject terror that she was going to get hit.” Which did happen once. The “non-morning person” came down the hill on her way to 8 a.m. class, just hoping a car wouldn’t be there – it was. “It broke my board in two,” recalls Heath.“We were just trying to keep her tethered to the earth,” laughs Dorrance.
Full name is Tobin Powell Heath … Nickname is “Tobs” … Enjoys playing any sport, hanging out with the family and spending time outdoors … Also a talented tennis player … Loves the beach and the water … Is still learning how to surf … Loves a good hamburger, as well as waffles and mango … Skateboarded around campus and to class at UNC … Enjoys all the traveling that an international player gets to do but also gets homesick … Starred in five highly-viewed ussoccer.com videos: “Ball Trick Battle” with Casey Nogueira when both were U-20s in 2006, “Tobin Heath: WALKABOUT” in 2008, which won ussoccer.com’s Best Video of the Year, and “Trick Shot Battle” and “Creative Soccer Tennis” with Yael Averbuch in 2011 and 2013 respectively, as well as “Queen of the Nutmeg” in 2015 … The videos have more than 900,000 combined YouTube views.
One of the USA’s most skillful players and dynamic dribblers, she has been a member of the last four world championship squads … 2015: A member of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup champions, she played in six of the seven matches, starting five, and scored in the World Cup Final, knocking in the fifth and clinching goal in the 5-2 victory against Japan … Played 1,180 minutes in 21 games while starting 13 games and had three assists on the year … Made her first World Cup start on June 16th in a group stage game against Nigeria after playing off the bench in four matches in 2011 … Earned her 100th cap on Aug. 19 against Costa Rica becoming the 33rd U.S. female player to achieve that feat … Helped the USA's win its 10th Algarve Cup in March in Portugal … 2014: Had one of her most productive years for the WNT, playing in 16 games with 10 starts over 795 minutes while scoring three goals with four assists … Was integral in the WNT’s run to the 2014 CONCACAF Championship, scoring two goals (both against Guatemala in the opening match) and adding two assists to help the team claim a berth at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup… 2013: Had a quality first half of the year, playing 609 minutes in nine games (while starting seven), but did not play for the USA in the second half of the year due to an ankle injury … Scored once (against the Netherlands in The Hague) and had four assists … 2012: Had her best year to date for the U.S. WNT, playing in 26 matches and starting 16, both career highs … Scored four goals with seven assists, also career highs for a year … Played in all six games at the 2012 Olympics, starting four, while winning her second gold medal … Had three assists in the Olympics, one against France on Alex Morgan’s second goal, one against Colombia on Abby Wambach’s goal and one to Sydney Leroux against New Zealand … Played in two matches at the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament, both starts, and scored two goals … Also scored against Sweden and Germany during the year … 2011: Had a quality “rebound” year after not seeing any National Team action 2010, playing in 15 games with two starts … Scored one goal with two assists, with her lone score coming in the final game of the year, a 1-1 draw with Sweden … Played in four matches off the bench at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, including the quarterfinal, semifinal and final in what was her first World Cup at the senior level … 2010: Did not play for the USA as she recovered from illness and a major ankle injury suffered early in the WPS season that eventually required surgery … 2009: Was named the 2009 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year … Played in two matches for the USA, both against Canada in July … 2008: Made her first WNT roster and debuted at the Four Nations Tournament in China … Nutmegged a Finland player on her first touches in her first cap … As the youngest player (20) on the 2008 Olympic gold medal team, she saw action in three games off the bench … Earned her first 17 caps for the USA in 2008 and scored two goals, including her first, which came against China at the Algarve Cup … 2007: Trained with the Women’s National Team in January for the first time … Youth National Teams: Played for the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team in 2009 … Started for the silver medal-winning U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team at the Pan-American Games in Rio de Janeiro in the summer of 2007 … Was one of the standout players for the USA at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Russia, where she played in three matches … One of five players to make the World Cup roster without participating in CONCACAF Qualifying … The third youngest player on the World Cup roster … 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 … Trained with the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team for the first time in March of 2006 … Made a late run to make the World Cup roster after an excellent performance at the Ricardo Teixeira Cup in Brazil in April … Finished her U-20 international career with 14 caps and two goals … Also saw time in U.S. Under-21 Women’s National Team in 2006 during a trip to Holland in April … Played with the U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team in 2004 and 2005 and the U.S. U-16 Girls’ National Team in 2003 and 2004 … Participated in the U-14 Girls’ National Team Identification Camp … First Appearance: Jan. 18, 2008, vs. Finland … First goal: March 5, 2008, vs. China.
2015: Played in just 12 matches for the Portland Thorns due to WNT commitments, but started them all, playing 1,062 minutes while scoring one goal with one assist … 2014: Started all five games in which she saw action, playing 401 minutes, but spent the majority of the NWSL season with the U.S. National Team or rehabbing injuries … 2013: Returned from France after the end of her European club season with Paris Saint-Germain to help the Portland Thorns to the inaugural NWSL championship … Was hampered by an ankle injury at the end of the season, but ended up playing in seven regular season matches and picking up three assists … Scored in both the NWSL playoff semifinal and championship game, getting the winning goal in the 2-0 title match victory against the Western New York Flash on a world-class direct free kick at the end of the first half … Played in eight matches for PSG in the second half of the season, scoring four times … 2012: Allocated to the Portland Thorns FC for the inaugural NWSL season … Played briefly with the New York Fury in the WPSL … Signed with Paris Saint-German in the French First Division for the second half of the 20122013 season … 2011: Played 571 minutes in 12 matches for Sky Blue FC, starting three, and had one assist … 2010: The No. 1 pick in the 2010 WPS Draft by the expansion Atlanta Beat … Played in just three matches for the Beat before suffering a season-ending ankle injury … Traded to her home state Sky Blue FC on Dec. 10 along with Eniola Aluko and Angie Kerr in exchange for Sky Blue FC’s pair of first-round picks in the 2011 WPS Draft and future considerations … Youth: Helped the PDA Wildcats win one club national championship, in 2003 as U-14s, and into two other club national championship tournaments … Helped the PDA Wildcats to the U-17 club National Championship game in 2005.