LYON, France — Anyone who has ever heard about Tobin Heath knows that she is a magician with the ball at her feet. It’s what her club coach at Portland Thorns FC, Mark Parsons, calls, “mastering her relationship with the ball.”
But Parsons has another way of viewing United States women’s national team winger Heath and her sometimes superhero-like ball skills. They’re so good, he suggested, that it steers people’s attention away from the rest of her game. And the rest of Tobin Heath’s game is quite good.
“Like Messi,” Parsons said, stopping short of a direct comparison. “If he couldn’t dribble, we would actually talk about him being one of the best goal scorers in the world. If he couldn’t score or dribble, then we’d say that he’s one of the best passers in the world. Tobin has so many high-level, top-quality tools in her box, I think we’re still stuck on that she does these tricks and skills.”
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