Crystal Dunn cut her teeth in soccer on Long Island and now the Rockville Centre native is embarking on her next journey across the Atlantic.
On Tuesday, Dunn officially announced that she is heading to England to play for Chelsea Ladies FC in the FA Women’s Super League. Chelsea Ladies have been affiliated with the Premier League’s Chelsea FC since 2004.
“It’s a big personal challenge for me but I am ready to take this next step in my career,” Dunn said in a statement released by Chelsea Ladies. “Playing for Chelsea is a unique opportunity for me to take my game to another level and I think the moment is right. 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.”
The announcement of Dunn’s move to Europe follow that of Alex Morgan, who recently signed a half-season contract with Olympique Lyonnais of France, a team widely regarded as the top women’s club side in the world. She was scheduled to join the current European and French champions in January and play through the end of the current season.
Dunn over the past two years has grown to become one of the top American players and an important offensive force for the United States Women’s National Team. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NWSL College Draft, she had a banner 2015 season scoring 15 goals for the Washington Spirit and was awarded NWSL Golden Boot, NWSL MVP, Washington Spirit Golden Boot, and Washington Spirit MVP.
She made her debut for the senior U.S. National Team in 2013 and scored her first career international goal on September 17, 2015. Dunn was a member of the 2016 United States Olympic team, scoring a goal against Colombia in a group stage match. The 24 year old was also nominated for U.S. Soccer’s Female Player of the Year for 2016.
“Crystal is hands-down one of the best young players to have come through in the United States in recent years,” said Emma Hayes, Chelsea head coach. “She’s just been voted second in US Soccer’s Female Athlete of the Year, she is a Hermann Trophy winner, she has been a league top scorer and she has come out of a fantastic college program. We are really getting a top-quality player coming to England.”