espnW: Tobin Heath
Happy birthday, Tobin Heath! The U.S. women's soccer star turns 26 today. A former standout at North Carolina, Heath helped lead the Tar Heels to three national championships in 2006, 2008 and 2009 and was a two-time NCAA first-team All-American. While still a student, the New Jersey native made her debut with the U.S. senior team in January of 2008 and was the youngest member on the gold-medal winning team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Heath has been a valuable member of the team since and helped lead the United States to a 2012 Olympic gold medal and a second-place finish at the 2011 Women's World Cup. The midfielder has eight goals in 73 appearances with the national team. Heath also plays for Paris Saint-Germain in France and the Portland Thorns of the National Women's Soccer League. She helped the Thorns clinch the 2013 league championship with the game-winning goal and was subsequently named MVP of the championship game. Heath is expected to rejoin the Thorns and the USWNT after the Paris Saint-Germain season ends next month.
1. The U.S. has an all-time record of 47-3-5 against Canada and won the lone match between the squads in 2014 with a 1-0 victory Jan. 31 in Frisco, Texas. Canadian-born Sydney Leroux, the top U.S. scorer in 2014 with five, scored the winning goal for the USA. Canadian players and fans are still smarting from a 4-3 USA win at the 2012 London Olympics.
2. U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo is one shutout away from tying Briana Scurry for the most in U.S. history with 71.
3. After back-to-back losses at the Algarve Cup in March, the U.S. has strung together three straight wins. Tonight's game will be Team USA's second match under interim head coach Jill Ellis, who took over for the April 10 match against China PR in San Diego (a 3-0 victory), after U.S. Soccer parted ways with former head coach Tom Sermanni on April 6.
4. With more than 25,000 tickets sold, both teams could be playing in front of their largest crowd of the year. Investors Group Field, located on the University of Manitoba campus, is home to the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers and will be one of the host venues for the 2015 Women’s World Cup. The rivals have met once before in Winnipeg -- a 4-1 U.S. win on July 27, 1990.
5. The U.S. will bring a 22-woman roster to Winnipeg but will be without some notable faces. Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Kristie Mewis and Rachel Van Hollebeke will not make the trip due to injuries, and Tobin Heath will be absent because of her commitment with Paris-Saint Germain in France.
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