On Monday, U.S. Soccer announced the five nominees for 2016 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year. This year's nominees include forwards Crystal Dunn and Alex Morgan, midfielders Tobin Heath and Carli Lloyd and defender Becky Sauerbrunn. Today we continue to make the case for each of the candidates with WNT midfielder, Tobin Heath.
U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Tobin Heath has always been one of the USA’s most skillful players. She has long dazzled fans with her keen passing and dynamic dribbling, and she creates excitement on whichever flank she happens to occupy, causing nightmares for opposing defenders with her combination of speed, fitness and soccer savvy.
Even though she has always carried those qualities, 2016 was a year that saw the 28-year-old New Jersey native elevate her game to a whole new level. Heath, who just seemed to be everywhere on the field, played in 22 games, scoring six goals and recording eight assists, second-most on the team and tied with Crystal Dunn.
Both numbers were career bests for Heath, who in 2016 competed in her fifth world championship for the USA (2008 Olympics, 2011 WWC, 2012 Olympics, 2015 WWC, 2016 Olympics). She was one of the USA’s best players at this year's Olympic Games where she had two assists.
In her fourth season playing for the NWSL’s Portland Thorns FC, Heath finished the year with 10 assists – a new league record – in only 14 appearances for the club. She was named to the NWSL Best XI.