Tobin Heath Dominates Chile, Making Us Wonder Why The Eff She Wasn’t Nominated For Best FIFA Women's Player
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On Tuesday morning, the U.S. women’s national team found out its group for Concacaf World Cup qualifying next month. Then the reigning world champions went out and routed Chile 4-0. And Tobin Heath was so gosh darn dominant, with her feet all over the USWNT vs Chile highlights, that it makes you wonder what the heck she has to do to get some recognition from the fools at FIFA who decide who is nominated for the FIFA Best Awards.
The USWNT was playing its final match before Concacaf World Cup qualifying, which held its draw for the two groups of four on Tuesday morning. The U.S. will play Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago and Panama in Group A. Canada will face Jamaica, Costa Rica and Cuba in Group B. The group stages will be played from Oct. 4-10 in Cary, North Carolina, for Group A and Brownsville, Texas, for Group B. The semifinals, third-place game and final will be Oct. 14-17 in Frisco, Texas. The top three book their trip to France for the 2019 World Cup; the fourth-place team plays against Argentina in a playoff for the right to go to France.
vs. on Oct. 4
vs. on Oct. 7
vs. on Oct. 10World Cup Qualifying begins in 30 days. Thoughts on our draw?
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) September 4, 2018
But Tuesday night belonged to Tobin, as the USWNT vs Chile highlights will illustrate.
Heath toes the line between being the best player in America and the most underrated. She doesn’t necessarily rack up huge numbers of goals on the biggest stage like an Alex Morgan or Carli Lloyd, but she’s got more swagger and sauce than just about any U.S. player, especially with the recent retirement of Clint Dempsey.
On Tuesday against Chile, Heath tallied a goal and two assists, and it probably should’ve been more. She set up teammates with a number of chances with her delightful foot skills, uncanny vision and undying competitiveness.
Besides the fact that @TobinHeath is my bud, she just demonstrated how she has separated herself with three plays. Her speed and cross off the pen rebound. The lifted final ball. Then the ruthless finish of her own. Her game has rounded out and she is now one of the worlds best.— Heather O'Reilly (@HeatherOReilly) September 5, 2018
And yet, earlier this week Heath wasn’t among the players nominated for Best FIFA Women’s Player, which yet again was a giant joke, FIFA basically flipping the bird to all women, as we detailed here.
Finalists: #TheBest Women’s Player Award
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) September 3, 2018
Nevertheless, while she was on the pitch for the first 60 minutes, Heath had a hand foot in everything that went well for the U.S.
The onslaught started in the 34th minute after Mallory Pugh drew a penalty kick after an electric passing move. The 20-year-old taken down as a last resort in the box, setting up a penalty kick for Alex Morgan, who came in having scored 17 goals in her last 19 matches with the U.S.
However, Christiane Endler saved Morgan’s penalty kick. Not that it mattered, because Heath was first to react and recycled the ball back into the six-yard box, where Pugh bundled it home for the opener for her 12th USWNT goal.
Endler made another amazing save moments later when Heath played in Rose Lavelle. The PSG keeper Endler got her paw to Lavelle’s close-range shot, showing why she’s a three-time player of the year for Chile.
But Endler was left with no chance in the 38th minute when a set piece found its way to a wide open Heath, who slid the ball just under the crossbar to make it 2-0.
*Checks watch* Yes, it is indeed Tobin time in San Jose. pic.twitter.com/S0LKZgetYr
About four minutes later the U.S. used just about the same exact play on a set piece and nearly scored again, but Julie Ertz had her header denied by Endler.
Tobin Heath wasted no time to pad her stats in the second half, tallying her second assist in the 47th minute. This one came on a set piece lobbed into the box, which Carli Lloyd met with a well-timed diving header to put past Endler.
The goal was Lloyd’s 101st for the USWNT and came with her first touch in the match, having come on as a halftime sub.
Goal No. for @CarliLloyd.Comes on at half, scores on first touch. pic.twitter.com/bLgspFHSOK
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) September 5, 2018
Heath would’ve added her third assist about a minute later when Morgan knocked a cross from the 30-year-old winger, but the U.S. No. 13 was offside.
Eventually Heath was subbed off in the 61st minute for Amy Rodriguez, but the bulk of the USWNT vs Chile highlights had already transpired.
The match didn’t end all that well for the U.S. Having used all its substitutes, the USWNT played the final 10 minutes with 10 players after Casey Short picked up an injury.
Not that it really mattered, as the Americans dominated possession even without the defender. Lloyd made it 4-0 in the 93rd minute when she was admittedly a bit selfish to ignore a wide-open Alex Morgan and took the shot herself.
90' +3 Par de recortes en el área y definición perfecta de Lloyd para el... ¡GL DE ! pic.twitter.com/1gzGcZm7GY— Univision Deportes (@UnivisionSports) September 5, 2018
Tuesday’s USWNT vs Chile match started a little better for viewers than Friday night’s, when the game didn’t end up on ESPN2 until 110 minutes after the advertised start time.
ESPN2 switched from a WNBA playoff game to the soccer friendly about four minutes into the game, though by that point USWNT midfielder McCall Zerboni had already been yoinked by her meats, forced off by injury to be replaced by Morgan Brian.
Unfortunately, Julie Foudy, who called the match with Ian Darke, had a bit of a problem with her voice, though she fought through it bravely.
Darke and Foudy were helped out by the voice Megan Rapinoe, the USWNT superstar who declined to play in the friendlies against Chile in part to recover from an injury and in part to prepare for the stretch run in the NWSL season. Rapinoe joined Darke and Foudy in the press box at the start of the second half and sounded like, if she ever retires, she’d be a natural in the booth.
The USWNT will return to action on Oct. 4 against Mexico in Cary, North Carolina, to open World Cup qualifying. Chile already qualified for the 2019 World Cup, having finished second in the 2018 Copa Ámerica Femenina, the first time Las Chicas de Rojo have qualified for the World Cup.