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Wednesday Roundup: Tobin Heath to train for Thorns starting next week

Also in today’s roundup, Morgan Proffitt signs with the Washington Spirit and the South African Football Association endorse a motion for a women’s league in 2019

Tobin Heath has yet to play for the Thorns this season due to a lingering back injury. (Photo copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer)

Yesterday, it was reported that Tobin Heath will return to the training field for the Portland Thorns next week. The club is set to make room for the USWNT midfielder on the roster ahead of the NWSL roster freeze date next Tuesday.

Head coach Mark Parsons once again told The Oregonian’s Jamie Goldberg that he hopes to see Heath in a Thorns jersey for the NWSL playoffs, which begin in October.

“She will be on our roster before the roster freeze. We hope Tobin will be back in Portland training in the near future,” said Parsons. Team owner Merritt Paulson posted a tweet (which has since been deleted) stating that Heath would be returning to training with the team next week.


Heath, who’s missed the entire 2017 with a back injury, has been in Los Angeles rehabbing with the U.S. Soccer’s staff. Although she’s set to begin training next week, the Thorns coaching staff did not confirm if Heath will be available and ready to play in any of the remaining five games of the regular season.

As the roster freeze date approaches early next week, Parsons will need to decide if he will be adding Savannah Jordan and Meg Morris to the active roster. Both are currently on the 45-day disabled list. Jordan is said to be further along in the recovery than Morris and closer to full health, whereas Morris is still being evaluated.

In addition to Jordan and Morris, Mana Shim is also dealing with an injury due to a concussion but is still on the active roster. Parsons has said that her timetable for her return should be in the next two weeks.

Washington Spirit sign midfielder Morgan Proffitt

Proffitt, who was taken by the Red Stars in the 2017 NWSL College Draft, has since signed with the Spirit after being waved by Chicago (photo by Chicago Red Stars)

Today, the Washington Spirit claimed midfielder Morgan Proffitt off waivers. The U.S. U-23 WNT midfielder was waived by the Chicago Red Stars earlier this week to make room for their most recent signing, Kristie Mewis.

The rookie was drafted by the Red Stars with the No.12 overall pick in the 2017 NWSL College Draft this past January. For the Red Stars, the Marquette alum appeared in seven games, making one start in her first professional season. Since last year, Proffitt has been a regular for the U.S. U-23 WNT since training camp in April of 2016. She was part of the U.S. team that won the Nordic Tournament in England last summer. In 2017, she also made an appearance at an early training camp in January.

Proffitt will be available for the Washington Spirit this Saturday when they take on her former club, the Chicago Red Stars, at home slated for a 7p.m. ET kickoff at the Plex.

South African FA endorse motion for 2019 women’s league

Danny Jordaan, president of the South African Football Association, announced on Tuesday that his national executive committee has endorsed a motion for the formation of a national women’s league in 2019.

Although Jordaan claimed he would not yet call it a professional league, but only a national league before seeing what type of support was garnered, he stated the importance of a domestic league for the growth of women’s soccer. “When we started in 2012, we had 200,000 women footballers in the country. Today, we have about 450,000 and we want to get this number up to 1 million,” he said. “Women are they majority in this country, so women’s sport is one of the key areas where we need growth. It is for that reason that in 2019 we want to have a national league for women’s football where they will play like the Professional Soccer League and National First Division.”

Safa (South African Football Association), with the support of La Liga, will look to promote current Sasol League winners as well as Varsity Cup winners to form the new national league.


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