UNC Standout is Second Olympic Gold Medalist on Pali Roster
Heath won a W-League championship with Blues head coach Charlie Naimo in 2006
Pacific Palisades, Calif. (Thursday, May 28, 2009) – The defending USL W-League champion Pali Blues Soccer Club bolstered its roster today when it became official that U.S. National Team midfielder Tobin Heath is joining the team for the 2009 season. Heath was the youngest member on the U.S. squad when they brought home Olympic Gold last summer, and she joins striker Lauren Cheney as the second player on the Blues roster that brought home a Gold Medal.
"Tobin is one of the best take on artists in the women's game,” Blues head coach Charlie Naimo commented. “Her clever movements off the ball and ability to play in and out of pressure are world class, and she will be a treat for our fans."
This marks the second time that Naimo and Heath have linked up for W-League action as the duo was together for three seasons with the New Jersey Wildcats. Naimo was the head coach of the Wildcats for the duration of those three years while Heath was a student at Ridge High School in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. Together, they reached the W-League championship in 2004 and won the crown in 2006.
Heath has earned 14 caps with the U.S. Women’s Full National Team after earning herself a spot on the squad in 2007. Before joining the full team, she spent time with the U-16, U-17 and U-20 sides of the U.S. National Team.
After winning Olympic Gold last summer, Heath returned to Chapel Hill last fall for her junior year at the University of North Carolina. In 26 matches, she tallied 24 points on a well-balanced eight goals and eight assists to earn All-ACC First Team and NSCAA/adidas All-America Second Team accolades while helping the Tar Heels to their second NCAA national championship in three years. She arrived at UNC in 2006 and made an immediate impression, recording 17 points on four knocks and nine helpers. She earned numerous honors for her efforts, including her being selected to the All-ACC Second Team, NCAA College Cup All-Tournament Team, Soccer Buzz All-America Second Team, Soccer Buzz Freshmen All-America First Team, Top Drawer Freshmen All-America Second Team, NSCAA All-Southeast Region Team, Soccer Buzz All-Southeast Region Team, and she was additionally named the Soccer Buzz Southeast Region Freshman of the Year. She followed up that debut season with an accomplished sophomore campaign, registering nine points on a pair of knocks and five assists. The All-ACC First Team selection was a finalist for both the U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year Award and Soccer Buzz Player of the Year Award, and she was also a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy. She was additionally named to the NSCAA All-America First Team, Soccer Buzz All-America Team, as well as the Top Drawer Soccer All-America Second Team.
A graduate of Ridge High School in northern New Jersey, Heath was a decorated youth player. She was named the 2005 Gatorade New Jersey Player of the Year while receiving Parade All-America and Star-Ledger All-State First Team honors. While playing club soccer for the PDA Wildcats, she was a key figure in their winning a national championship in 2003.
The Blues are currently hitting the road for their next four games before returning to the Stadium by the Sea for a 7:00 p.m. pairing with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Tuesday, June 23rd. Heath is slated to make her season debut on Friday, June 5th, when the Blues play the Seattle Sounders.