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Racing Louisville FC select Tobin Heath’s playing rights in NWSL Expansion Draft

Racing Louisville picked up Tobin Heath and Christen Press’s rights along with a host of young talent in the NWSL Expansion Draft.

Washington Spirit v Portland Thorns FC

Racing Louisville made a big splash Thursday night, picking up the playing rights of Tobin Heath and Christen Press with their final two picks of the 2020 NWSL Expansion Draft.

Heath was the only Portland Thorns player selected in the draft. This pick was rumored to happen before the draft and as picks passed and no Thorns were selected, it became clear what was about to happen. Heath is currently playing in the Women’s Super League in England with Manchester United.

Heath will always be remembered as a Portland Thorns legend. She won the NWSL Championship in 2013 and 2017 and the NWSL Shield in 2016, all with the Thorns. Heath also was named to the NWSL Best XI three times and was crowned the NWSL Championship MVP in 2013. In 79 appearances she scored 15 goals for the club.

As the Thorns look forward to the 2021 season, not much changes for them. Portland got a taste of life without Heath in both the NWSL Challenge Cup and Fall Series. Coach Mark Parsons showed faith in his young talent and is looking to build around them as well as veterans Lindsey Horan and Christine Sinclair. This was demonstrated by which players he protected in the draft.

Heath was obviously not designated as a protected player so the Portland administration knew this was a possibility and they were prepared to move on from the player.

Racing Louisville’s Draft Picks

  1. Addisyn Merrick- North Carolina Courage
  2. Julia Ashley- OL Reign
  3. Jennifer Cudjoe- Sky Blue FC
  4. CeCe Kizer- Houston Dash
  5. Katie Lund- Washington Spirit
  6. Alanna Kennedy- Orlando Pride
  7. Lauren Milliet- North Carolina Courage
  8. Kaleigh Riehl- Sky Blue FC
  9. Caitlin Foord’s rights- Orlando Pride
  10. Katie McClure- Washington Spirit
  11. Erin Simon- Houston Dash
  12. Michelle Betos- OL Reign
  13. Tobin Heath’s rights- Portland Thorns FC
  14. Christen Press’s rights- Utah Royals FC

Chicago Red Stars were protected in the draft because of a pre-draft trade. Racing Louisville acquired Savannah McCaskill and Yuki Nagasato from Chicago. Racing Louisville also claimed Cheyna Matthews from Washington Spirit off waivers.