Tobin Heath needed only 52 seconds to score for the USWNT and prove it was a worthwhile gamble to bring her to the Olympics

Tobin Heath
Tobin Heath. Ira L. Black – Corbis / Getty Images
  • Tobin Heath scored mere seconds into her return for the US Women’s National Team.
  • The crafty forward found the back of the net from 36.58m out against Mexico Thursday night.
  • Heath hadn’t played a game since December 2020 due to a series of leg injuries.
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Tobin Heath wasted no time getting back to her old ways upon returning to the US Women’s National Team for the first time this year.

The superstar striker scored a stunning goal mere moments after subbing into Thursday night’s match against Mexico.

And by moments after, we mean literal seconds: 52, to be exact.

Tobin Heath.
Tobin Heath celebrates her USWNT goal. Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

In the 74th minute of the game, Heath poked the ball away from an opponent in the midfield. Fellow forward Alex Morgan collected the loose ball and delivered a leading pass as Heath made a run up the center of the field.

Heath took a touch to shake her defenders, then launched a rocket from 12.19m out that ricocheted off the post and into the back of the net.

-FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 2, 2021

Prior to her explosive comeback at the USWNT’s Send Off Series in Connecticut, the 33-year-old USWNT mainstay hadn’t seen the pitch since December 2020. Heath suffered an ankle injury while playing overseas with FA Women’s Super League side Manchester United. Then, in the midst of her rehab, she picked up a knee injury that further set back her return.

Still, despite not seeing Heath play in a game for more than six months, USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski chose to include her on his 18-person roster for this summer’s Tokyo Olympics. Some questioned the choice considering both Heath’s physical health and the depth of the player pool vying for a spot on the team.

Tobin heath
Tobin Heath. AP Photo/David Vincent

But it took her less than a minute to quell those doubts and prove that she’s in proper form for the grueling tournament that lies ahead. In a few short weeks, Heath and company will have to play three group-stage games in a seven-day span just to qualify for the knockout stage of the Olympic games.

The USWNT embarks on its journey to becoming the first team to earn gold directly after winning the World Cup with a grudge match against Sweden July 21. The US will round out the group stage with games against New Zealand on July 24 and Australia on July 27.