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Tobin Heath signs with OL Reign through end of season

(Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

Tobin Heath is headed back to the West Coast, signing with OL Reign through the end of the season. The contract includes the option to extend it through 2023.

The news was first reported by The Equalizer’s Jeff Kassouf on Tuesday.

Originally, Racing Louisville had held the playing rights to Heath — as well as Christen Press — since November 2021. While Press’ rights were sent to Angel City, Heath opted to sign with Arsenal. Her time there was marred with injuries, with Heath only making nine appearances in league play as well as four appearances in the UEFA Champions League. Heath was later released from her contract in a mutual agreement after she suffered a season-ending hamstring injury.

Since then, rumors have flown about where Heath might end up. Back on June 3, OL Reign head coach Laura Harvey stayed notably neutral about the possibility of Heath ending up with the team.

“I mean, I think Tobin is an excellent player, obviously, her rights are currently held by Louisville, so I think that’s something that I’m not sure if anything is going to happen there,” Harvey told reporters. “I think right now it’s all up in the air a little bit. But I think Tobin could be a fantastic player and has shown she’s a fantastic player in this league, but as of right now, no big news to share on that.”

But on Tuesday, according to multiple league sources, Racing Louisville traded her rights to OL Reign in exchange for $50,000 in allocation money, a second-round pick and a natural fourth-round pick in the 2023 NWSL Draft. That news was later confirmed by the team on Thursday. She is expected to join the team the week of Monday, June 20th.

“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,” Harvey said. “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.”

Heath is no stranger to the NWSL, having played with the Portland Thorns since its inception in 2013. She helped the team to the first NWSL Championship and another title in 2017 before leaving for Manchester United in 2020.

“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,” Heath said. “We’re all eager to win a title, and I’m hopeful I can help OL Reign achieve that goal.”

This article has been updated to include OL Reign’s official release featuring Heath’s signing.