It’s official, Tobin Heath is coming to OL Reign. The Equalizer first reported on Tuesday that a trade was agreed to with Racing Louisville for Heath’s NWSL rights, and today the club officially announced the trade and subsequent signing of the USWNT winger.
“This is a very special time for our club as we add another excellent player to our squad. Tobin has an incredible mindset and a rich history in the NWSL, and has a proven ability to change the game,” said OL Reign head coach Laura Harvey in the club’s press release. “Tobin’s ability to create and finish chances adds something unique, that I believe will help elevate our group. Tobin’s experience playing in the league will be a valuable asset for our group.”
As anticipated based on the initial report, OL Reign sent $50,000 in allocation money and a second-round and natural fourth-round pick in the 2023 NWSL Draft to Louisville to acquire Heath’s NWSL playing rights. The club announced that Heath will join the club next Monday, June 20 for the remainder of this season, with an option to extend her stay through 2023.
“Couldn’t be more thrilled to play alongside the world class players here, for Laura Harvey as my coach, and in front of the amazing community of supporters. We’re all eager to win a title, and I’m hopeful I can help OL Reign achieve that goal,” said Heath in the club’s press release.
After playing for rival Portland Thorns FC from the NWSL’s inaugural season of 2013 through 2020, Heath has spent the last two years in England, playing for Manchester United from 2020 to 2021 and then Arsenal from 2021 to 2022. The stint at Arsenal was a bucket-list item checked for Heath, who grew up as an Arsenal fan and said at the time of her introductory press conference, “It was my first childhood club team that I really followed and I fell in love with at a young age. I was attracted to the style of play through certain players that were playing there. And you know, your first love of a club is something that is kind of unchanging and unwavering through it all.”
A hamstring injury limited Heath’s time at Arsenal to just nine appearances and two goals, but in that time, she played alongside Kim Little, who has returned to OL Reign on a short-term basis, so there will be a reunion there along with this time playing alongside Jess Fishlock, Lauren Barnes, and Megan Rapinoe, after years of being a part of the opposition.