Portland Thorns

The Tobin Heath era in Portland has come to an end -- Heath selected in NWSL expansion draft

Portland Thorns
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The Tobin Heath era is over in Portland.

After being an integral part of Portland Thorns FC’s success since 2013, Heath will begin a new chapter with a brand new National Women’s Soccer League team. 

Thursday, Racing Louisville FC, which is now the first major professional team to call Kentucky home, held its NWSL expansion draft.

And sadly for Thorns fans, Tobin Heath was selected and not able to be a protected pick.

Heath is currently playing for Manchester United, but Louisville now receives her NWSL rights.

The NWSL expansion drafts works like this:

Each NWSL franchise was able to protect 11 players including two US allocated players. Louisville then got to draft 11 players of the remaining, unprotected players. They could select two players from one team or one US allocated player. 

Portland had four total US allocated players and made the decision to protect the 2018 NWSL MVP Lindsey Horan as well as Crystal Dunn, who was acquired last month.

But, of course, that doesn’t mean Heath won’t be missed in the Rose City.

The 32-year old Heath was ranked the 17th best women’s soccer player in the world in 2019 via The Guardian.

Heath’s accolades go on and on. She was named the 2016 US Soccer Athlete of the Year and has participated in three World Cups.

She also won two NWSL Championships and an NWSL Shield. The three-time NWSL Best XI selection (2016, 2018-19) also set a new NWSL record for the most assists in a single season (10) in 2016 while with the Thorns. 


As Racing Louisville looks to compete in the NWSL starting in the 2021 season, their roster is now complete and will begin play in the spring.

The Rose City will miss you, Tobin!