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Tar Heels in the Women’s World Cup: Crystal Dunn

A regular for Team USA will make her way down under to play on the big stage.

NWSL: Washington Spirit at Portland Thorns FC Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Crystal Dunn has had an impressive professional soccer career, one that has included a lot of activity with Team USA since 2013. Now she will once again represent Team USA in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in hopes of helping them win yet another championship.

Dunn was a two-year starter for UNC while she was on campus, and managed to rack up a lot of accolades. She was named Soccer America Freshman of the Year, as well as ***clears throat***:

  • 2010 NSCAA first-team All-America honoree
  • Second-team Soccer America MVP selection
  • First-team All-ACC
  • ACC Defensive Player of the Year
  • ACC All-Freshman Team
  • First-team Soccer America All-Freshman Team
  • 2010 ACC All-Tournament

During her freshman campaign, Dunn played 1,929 minutes and was the third-leading scorer with 26 points. She shot 30 percent for the season, which included a 60 percent on goal rate.

During her sophomore campaign, Dunn finished with 12 points and six assists, which made her the fifth-leading scorer on the team as well as the third in assists. A 2011 preseason All-American, Dunn earned several Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week nods, and finished the season as a first-team All-ACC player.

Once Dunn started playing for the US National team, she was moved to the defensive side of the ball. During the same season that led to a 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup victory in Japan, Dunn was awarded the 2012 Hermann Trophy for best soccer player. Once it was time for her to make her way to the pros, she was drafted by the Washington Spirit as the number one overall pick in the 2014 NWSL College Draft.

During her time in the pros, Dunn has had several different stops. She went on to play for the Spirit for a couple of years, then played for Chelsea, the North Carolina Courage, and currently plays for the Portland Thorns FC. As far as Team USA goes, Dunn has made 131 appearances for the team, and was a member of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship team.

Dunn joins fellow Tar Heel alumni Emily Fox and Alessia Russo for Team USA this season, with hopes of bringing home the Women’s World Cup. It is also worth noting that another former Tar Heel, Satara Murray, will be participating in the tournament for Jamaica. UNC has had a tremendous amount of representation in the World Cup for what feels like the life of the event, and now we could see more of them go down in the history books as World Cup champions. UNC head coach Anson Dorrance has been perhaps the most successful college athletics coach that has ever lived, and his ability to develop winners is something that is truly difficult to replicate. Dunn is one of many stars that he helped develop, and it will be a lot of fun seeing her take the big stage later this month.

Best of luck to Dunn as well as the other Tar Heels that will be participating in this year’s Women’s World Cup!