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Portland Thorns star Tobin Heath to miss upcoming tournament due to COVID-19 concerns

"Because of the uncertainty and risks created by COVID-19, I have chosen not to participate in the NWSL Challenge Cup,” said Heath.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland Thorns and U.S. Women's National Team player Tobin Heath will not play in the NWSL Challenge Cup set to kick off June 27 near Salt Lake City, Utah.

“Although I want to be on the field with my teammates, doing what I love, because of the uncertainty and risks created by COVID-19, I have chosen not to participate in the NWSL Challenge Cup,” said Heath in a release from the Portland Thorns. “I can’t even express how much I am looking forward to my next game in Providence Park.”

Heath is the only USWNT player on the Thorns roster planning to miss the event.

“We support and respect Tobin’s decision regarding the tournament,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for Thorns FC. “Tobin has been an integral part of this club since day one and we have no doubt she will continue to support her teammates during their time in Utah.”

Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd are among the star players from the USWNT who will not be participating in the Challenge Cup with their respective teams.

On Monday, the Orlando Pride announced it was pulling out of the tournament after numerous members of the team tested positive for the coronavirus.

The NWSL is attempting to become the first professional team sports league in America to resume competition.

The Portland Thorns face the North Carolina Courage in the opening match of the Challenge Cup on June 27 at 9:30 a.m. PT.  Matches will take place at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah.  Matches will air on CBS or CBS All Access.

2020 Thorns FC NWSL Challenge Cup roster
Goalkeepers (3):
Bella Bixby, Britt Eckerstrom, Adrianna Franch

Defenders (9): Kelli Hubly, Meghan Klingenberg, Emily Menges, Meaghan Nally, Madison Pogarch, Katherine Reynolds, Becky Sauerbrunn, Autumn Smithers, Christen Westphal

Midfielders (6): Celeste Boureille, Lindsey Horan, Emily Ogle, Rocky Rodríguez, Angela Salem, Gabby Seiler

Forwards (7): Simone Charley, Marissa Everett, Tyler Lussi, Anika Rodriguez, Christine Sinclair, Sophia Smith, Morgan Weaver

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