The 2015 soccer Women’s World Cup begins on Saturday, June 6 in Canada. The United States team is one of a handful of favorites to win the tournament and they’ve got a great story. Despite decades of excellent play, the team has not won a World Cup championship since 1999. That’s a whole generation of dreams denied and all the reason anyone should need to root for the team this year. To help prepare you to root for team and country, we’re going to run a short profile of every player on the 23-person roster. When female athletes take their turn in the spotlight, they often receive coverage that is slanted toward non-game aspects of their stories — marriage, children, sexual preference, perceived lack-of or bountiful sexiness, social media activity, etc. In the hope of balancing things out, just a tiny bit, these previews will strive to stay on the field, with only a little bit of non-gendered personal interest when possible.
National team experience: 90 appearances, this will be her second World Cup, and she has 11 international goals.
What to expect from Tobin Heath: You know that kid on your youth soccer team who just never stopped running? He or she might not have been the biggest, the most skilled, the strongest, the most aggressive, or the most clever player, but they just never, ever, ever stopped running. When your team was on the attack, she was there. When your team needed an extra set of legs on defense, there she was. And she never, ever, ever seemed even a little bit tired. That’s Tobin Heath. Heath plays an attacking midfielder role for the national team. In this World Cup, she’ll most likely be coming off the bench to replace Christen Press or another starting midfielder.
Video: In this package of Tobin Heath highlights, notice how many of her goals come from following up on an attack. Heath runs herself into goals. In one, she even basically kept running after she scored the goal as if to say, “no big deal, I just scored, now lemme run back to our side of the field so we can start the game again and I can run some more.”