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Heath earns top US Soccer honor
Pali Blues midfielder wins Young Athlete of the Year award

US Soccer News Release -

Monday, December 21, 2009

CHICAGO, IL -- For her excellence at the highest levels of the sport, U.S. Soccer named U-23 Women’s National Team midfielder Tobin Heath, a member of the Pali Blues, the Young Female Athlete of the Year. The series of U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year awards are the highest honors awarded to soccer players in the United States.

(, long hailed as one of the brightest young players in the national team programs, now joins a distinguished list of players to have been named Young Female Athlete of the Year. She played with both the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team and the full WNT in 2009, but her biggest triumph of 2009 was leading UNC to its 20th NCAA title, despite playing with nagging injuries.

She scored five goals with 10 assists for the Tar Heels, who compiled a record of 23-3-1 and pulled out 1-0 victories in both the NCAA semifinal and championship game. For the Women’s National Team, she upped her career cap total to 19 and figures to play a much more prominent role in 2010 as she enters her first season of professional soccer.

Prior to the collegiate campaign, Heath helped lead the Pali Blues to a second consecutive unbeaten season in the W-League (9-0-3) as they went on to repeat as the league champions in the postseason.

“I really appreciate the fans and everyone who voted for me, and it’s very cool to be included among the players who have been named Young Female Athlete of the Year,” said Heath. “I’ve played with most of them and they are all great players and great role models for the young players coming up, so hopefully I can one day I can fill that role as well. It was a crazy year, but a great year, ending with a special NCAA title and I’m really looking forward to what 2010 will bring.”

US Soccer Athlete of the Year Awards

Male Athlete - Landon Donovan
Female Athlete - Hope Solo
Young Male Athlete - Luis Gil
Young Female Athlete - Tobin Heath

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