Manchester United’s Women’s team have reportedly agreed a deal for Christen Press and Tobin Heath, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The pair of two-time World Cup winners would be the first Americans to make the move to the Red Devils since the women’s team got its start 2 years ago, and are the first Americans to play for the club period since Tim Howard and Jonathon Spector.
Breaking:— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) September 4, 2020
The deal for #USWNT stars Tobin Heath and Christen Press to join Manchester United is done, multiple sources with knowledge of the negotiations tell The Inquirer.
I don't know when it will be announced, but I'm told it's done. https://t.co/sOgfd6SeHb pic.twitter.com/PQROpKNvUz
Casey Stoney’s squad got off to a brilliant start to their existence by dominating the Women’s Championship in 2018/19. Their 2019/20 campaign in the FA Women’s Super League didn’t yield silverware, but the club finished 4th amid a pack of tried and tested women’s clubs. The addition of Netherlands star Jackie Groenen strengthened the midfield, but goals were hard to come by. United scored only 24 goals, 15 behind the nearest of the 3 teams above them in the table (though the season was ended early due to Covid-19).
Christen Press and Tobin Heath will bring the goalscoring talent that United currently lack. Press and Heath have scored 58 and 33 goals respectively for the United States Women’s team, and have scored these playing mostly in wider roles. They’re capable of playing any position in a front three, but Press will likely play more as a centre forward with Heath as a wider forward.
Both players have spent brief spells playing in Europe in their careers, but have spent most of their club years in the NWSL. The FA WSL has been able to attract more stars of the women’s game in recent years however, and Manchester United are now getting in on the action as well. Whether the deals will be longer than just one season or the two will return to their NWSL clubs next year remains to be seen, but the move will have a huge impact regardless. Signing either player would be by far the biggest acquisition the club has made, signing is just double the fun.
Due to Covid-19 protocol, Press and Heath would both have to quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival in England, meaning they would miss the opening games of the FA WSL season.