Manchester United announced today that Tobin Heath and Christen Press will be joining the club on contracts for the 2020/21 season, which runs through May of next year, pending both of them obtaining a work permit. Heath comes to United from the Portland Thorns while Press joins from the Utah Royals; the duo now add to the cohort of several USWNT players being brought on to add some power to clubs in England, like Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle at Manchester City.
This is certainly a statement of intent from United, which came in fourth in the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 WSL season, their first in the top flight after getting promoted from the Women’s Championship.
Via club press release, United head coach Casey Stoney said of Heath, “We are all excited to have Tobin join the club; she is an outstanding player who brings a wealth of experience to the squad. She is extremely skillful and possesses so much quality on the ball; her speed and intelligence in one vs one situations will be a real asset that will push the team forward this season, and I can’t wait to see her make her mark on the league.”
Stoney also called Press a “ruthless” striker. “[She] scores so many different types of goals, and I know she can add some real quality to our squad. Christen is also hugely experienced and for me it’s fantastic to add another senior figure like her in the dressing room,” said Stoney.
United are currently sixth on the league table after a 1-1 draw with Chelsea, although it’s very early days as the WSL restarts play. These two high-profile signings could come as a nice boost for United’s midfield/forward line. Given a 14-day quarantine, the soonest we would see them step on the field for United would be their October 4 game against Brighton.