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UNC Soccer: Tar Heels alumni make appearances on US national teams

Former Heels have made appearances for both national teams in the past couple weeks.

Chile v United States Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Things aren’t going great for UNC Football right now. However in the other sport often called “football”, things are going pretty okay.

Both Tar Heel soccer teams are ranked in the top 10 early in their respective seasons. Several former UNC soccer players have been getting some playing time for the US National teams.

Former Tar Heels have long populated the US Women’s national team, and recent matches haven’t changed it. The USWNT played a pair of matches against Chile a few weeks ago, and several alums played big roles.

In the first match, Crystal Dunn, whose on the field exploits we have highlighted before, got the start along with Tobin Heath. Heath was credited with an assist for the first goal in the US’s 3-0 win in the first of the two games.

Dunn came off the bench in the second Chile match, but Heath was instead joined by goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris to keep the quotient of Tar Heels at two. Harris kept Chile off the scoreboard, while Heath was involved in a lot once again. She scored once, and assisted on two other goals, playing a part in three of the USWNT’s four goals. Dunn would come in at the 31 minute mark, playing out the last hour of the match.

All three of those former Tar Heels are also in the provisional roster ahead of the US’s World Cup qualifying campaign. They are joined by Allie Long, Jessica McDonald, and Kealia Ohai on the 35-woman roster, which will be cut to 20.

Representation is slimmer on the men’s side, but there is still a former Tar Heel on the roster.

As the US Men’s team continues to try and rebuild after missing the World Cup, Eric Lichaj remains a regular in the lineup.

He got the start in Tuesday night’s friendly against Mexico. He wasn’t on the field when the US eventually scored and came out with a 1-0 win. However, he was part of the defense which kept Mexico off the board.

Lichaj is only 29, but was the oldest player in the US squad. A new full-time coach has yet to be hired since the World Cup qualifying debacle went down, so it remains to be seen if he will remain a regular in the future. However, at least for the moment, he continues to get regular playing time.