Rockville Centre’s Crystal Dunn will play for Team USA's women's soccer team in the Olympic Games for the third time in her career. Credit: Newsday

For the third time in her career, Rockville Centre’s Crystal Dunn will represent the United States at the Olympic Games.

Dunn has been a key playmaker on the women’s national soccer team since 2012, beginning her career as a defender and quickly transitioning to an offensive force in the midfield. This Olympic cycle, her skills will be on display as a true forward.

“I’m always trying to evolve my game; I’m always trying to adapt to whatever the game needs of me,” Dunn said on Monday at a joint press conference for both the women's and men's U.S. Olympic soccer teams in Manhattan. “I’m ready for the opportunity to step into this environment as a forward. I haven’t been a forward on this team since 2016, so I’m still finding my footing in some ways. But being trusted to do that is a really great feeling.”

During her last Olympic appearance in Tokyo in 2021, Dunn was the only player on the roster to start all six games. She has made a total of 147 appearances with the national team, tallying 25 goals and 19 assists.

In 2017, Dunn spent a season at Chelsea FC under the helm of Emma Hayes, now the head coach of this year's U.S. Olympic team. Even prior to their trip to Paris, the chemistry between the two has been palpable.

“She’s someone I’ve worked with before so I know about her important qualities both on and off the pitch,” Hayes said. “Like every player, Crystal is someone who wants to feel valued, and no matter what she contributes to the team, I know it will be her absolute everything.”

“Emma is awesome,” Dunn said. “When I first heard the whispers that she was in the running to get this job I remember reaching out and just saying, you would be so perfect. She really cares about the players. It’s not all about winning — even though that’s the definition of Emma — she really gets the best out of players and that’s exactly what this team needs.”

Dunn also is a two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup participant. She helped win the title in 2019 and made appearances in every match in 2023. Although the World Cup is a great tournament, Dunn said there is something particularly special about the Olympics.

“The Olympics are so different than the World Cup,” Dunn said. “There's a different sense of pride about the Olympics; it’s about knowing that I’ll be helping Team USA bring home a gold medal. It’s crazy, it’s wild, and you need everybody on board.”

With 12 years of professional experience under her belt, Dunn refuses to let her foot off the gas. Her only break was in 2022 after giving birth to her son, Marcel. Even then, Dunn returned to the pitch less than four months later.

For her, the Olympics are just another opportunity to excel.

“I’m constantly pushing myself to be better,” Dunn said. “I don’t like to rest on my laurels; I don’t like to say, last week I did this really great thing, so now I’m going to coast. For me it’s about showing up every single day and proving that I am still this impactful player.”

USA's Olympics women's soccer schedule (Group B)

July 25 vs. Zambia

July 28 vs. Germany

July 31 vs. Australia

More Olympics

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