Crystal Dunn Profile
|Born||Jul 03, 1992|
|Birthplace||New Hyde Park, New York, United States|
Crystal Dunn is an American soccer player who plays for the US National Women’s Team (USNWT) and for the Portland Thorns in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).
Previously, the winger played for Washington Spirit, Chelsea and North Carolina Courage.
Her main achievements include winning the NWSL title with North Carolina in 2018 and 2019, plus winning the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup with the USWNT.
Dunn set herself on the path to stardom from an early age, shining during her time at South Side High School. Dunn won the New York State Championships with them in 2006, 2007 and 2009. In each of those years, she also earned First-team All-State and All-Long Island honours.
At club level, the young Dunn played for Albertson Fury, the RVC Tornadoes, and the RVC Power. With the RVC Power, she won a state title.
Dunn majored in sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In 2010, her freshman year, she started 23 times for their team and picked up nine goals and eight assists.
Among Dunn's astonishing accolades in her first year at university were the Soccer America Freshman of the Year, 2010 NSCAA first-team All-America honoree, Second-team Soccer America MVP selection, and First-team All-ACC.
As a sophomore the following year, Dunn started 19 matches and missed only one, which came when she was training with the United States U20 women's national team.
Although Dunn spent plenty of time on the road with the US Women's U20 team the following year, she still played a key role in the North Carolina Tar Heels' triumph in the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship. Dunn scored twice in a 2-1 win over top seed BYU in the quarter-finals. To put the cherry on the cake, she won the prestigious 2012 Honda Award for Soccer.
In the 2013 season, Dunn's last with the Tar Heels, she was their top goalscorer with 14 goals.
Washington Spirit Years
Dunn was selected by the Washington Spirit in the first overall pick in the 2014 College Draft for that year's NWSL season. She went on to make 22 appearances for the Spirit that season as they finished fourth in the regular season before losing 2-1 to Seattle Reign FC in the semi-finals.
In Dunn's second season in the NWSL, she won the league's Golden Boot and Most Valuable Player award by scoring 15 goals for the Spirit, including six in the month of August 2015. She was the youngest player to win both awards at the age of 23, also breaking the league record for goals per game with 0.77.
In 2016, she scored four goals and notched up five assists for the Spirit before she moved on to Chelsea in January 2017.
Move to Chelsea
Dunn joined Emma Hayes' Chelsea on 3 January 2017. She linked up with a squad which was beginning to grow into an exciting era in the club's history, as the women's team was beginning to gain significant attention.
"It's a big personal challenge for me but I am ready to take this next step in my career. Playing for Chelsea is a unique opportunity for me to take my game to another level and I think the moment is right," said Dunn, as per Chelsea's official website.
"I have only been to London once before but there is something that grabbed me about Chelsea. The whole family culture - the unity, the morale - is making it feel just like home.
"I'm excited because Chelsea has a large fanbase and their relationship with the men's team alone is just incredible. I'm looking forward to the games and to seeing all the fans who come out and support and hopefully we can all help add to the growth of women's football in England.
"I'm going to give my all. It would be a dream to play in the Champions League and I am ready to help out the team in any way. I'm excited to join my new team-mates and join forces with them."
Having started out as a striker for Chelsea, Dunn ultimately moved to wing-back. She helped the team win the FA Women's Super League [WSL] Spring Series and played a role in Chelsea's 2017/18 UEFA Women's Champions League campaign, which saw them reach the semi-finals for the first time before losing to German giants Wolfsburg.
Dunn's departure from Chelsea for North Carolina Courage was confirmed on 25 February 2018 as she sought to gain greater recognition in the USWNT by playing in the States.
Success at North Carolina Courage
Dunn made her debut for North Carolina Courage on the opening day of the 2018 NWSL season in a 1-0 win over Portland Thorns. She scored eight goals in 22 regular season matches to help North Carolina to the NWSL Shield. They went on to beat Chicago Red Stars 2-0 in the semi-finals and Portland Thorns 3-0 in the final.
In the 2019 NWSL season, North Carolina Courage defended their NWSL title, thrashing Chicago Red Stars 4-0 in the final.
Transfer to Portland Thorns
On 22 October 2020, Dunn was part of a trade deal which took her to OL Reign and then ultimately ended up at the Portland Thorns after they, too, traded her.
Career with the US Women's National Team
Dunn featured regularly in US women's youth sides after playing for USA U17 at the FIFA Women's U17 World Cup in 2008. She was in the squad for the 2010 U20 World Cup and then won the tournament in 2012.
She made her senior debut against Scotland in a February 2013 friendly and made the USA's preliminary squad for the 2015 Women's World Cup. However, she was a surprise omission from that tournament - a snub which she credited as the inspiration for her incredible club form that year.
Dunn did manage, however, to make the squad for the USA's 2019 World Cup campaign, which they won.
Dunn has spoken of her desire to advance the cause of representation and inclusion for black women in football.
"With my versatility and being one of the few Black women on the U.S. women's national team, what I would have loved to see happen earlier, which I still hope will happen, is to be recognized as a face of women's soccer," Dunn told Forbes.
"I am recognized as a player on the national team, which is great. But what I would like to see shift is the whole idea that this sport is predominantly white or that it is a white person's face that is the face of women's soccer.
"I have earned the right to be posterized and be a part of huge campaigns and lead the way for women's soccer and not feel like I am just a player."
Dunn married Pierre Soubrier in December 2018.
It was reported in The Athletic that the Portland Thorns were paying Dunn anywhere from $125,000 to $150,000 annually as of 12 January 2021.