Friday will bring the Fourth of July fireworks of the first Alex Morgan vs. Christen Press matchup in NWSL history when Portland Thorns FC host the Chicago Red Stars.
It could also mark the season debut of midfielder Tobin Heath, who is back from French club PSG (and almost two weeks off after the most recent U.S. national team camp).
“I’m not trying to be a superhero, I’m just trying to come in and help a little bit,” Heath told the Oregonian. “Obviously the results have been up and down. You’ve seen this team play tremendous soccer and then you’ve also seen a lull, so I think that I just want to come in and bring a good energy and a good spirit to the team.”
Portland is currently 6-6-2 (20 pts.) and in sixth place. Thorns coach Paul Riley is hopeful that Heath will bring a spark to his inconsistent team, and that she can combine with fellow playmaker Vero Boquete.
“They were brilliant today with each other in the practice,” Riley said. “They’re just footballers — pure footballers. Tobin is the most pure American footballer there is.”