Christen Press and Tobin Heath showed the impact of United States women’s national team members playing overseas before even taking to the pitch.
Press and Heath signed with Manchester United of England’s Women’s Super League last month while the NWSL plays fall friendlies. They made their debuts over the weekend when the league returned to play.
Long before that, their jersey sale numbers did the talking. The sales surpassed those of any of the men’s stars for the club over three days following their signing, per Mike Keegan at The Daily Mail. That includes stars like Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford.
Heath is wearing No. 77, swaying from her regular No. 17 with the USWNT and the Portland Thorns. Press went with No. 24 to honor the late Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant. Her No. 23 of the Utah Royals was already taken.
Press and Heath, both two-time World Cup champions, came off the bench in United’s 3-0 win over Brighton over the weekend. Heath had an assist for Jane Ross in the match.
Samantha Mewis and Rose Lavelle signed to play with Manchester City, opting out of the NWSL Fall Series. Alex Morgan signed to play with Tottenham. She hasn’t played a game since giving birth to her daughter, Charlie, in May.
USWNT stars have opted for leagues overseas, specifically the FAWSL, to get playing minutes. They’re preparing for the Tokyo Olympics, which were rescheduled for July 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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