When the United States Women’s National Team hoisted its third World Cup trophy in July of 2015, it was a bittersweet moment for Crystal Dunn.
The Rockville Centre, NY-native wasn’t in Vancouver to take part in the celebration. Instead, she watched at home as the U.S. defeated Japan 5-2 and were once again atop the soccer world.
Dunn was the final cut. The last woman to be left off the team’s 23-person roster.
Fast forward a year and Dunn is now an integral part of the U.S. team, and is expected to be on the team’s 18-person roster that heads to Brazil for this year’s Summer Olympics.
In a recent post to The Players’ Tribune, Dunn wrote about the experience of just missing out on playing for the team that would eventually go on to become world champions.
After returning to the nation’s capital following a match between her National Women’s Soccer League team, Washington Spirit, and Houston Dash, Dunn was in the car with her parents when she got the call from Ellis. She was not going to Canada.
“I honestly can’t even remember what I said, or if I managed to say anything at all, but as we hung up, she wished me luck with the NWSL season, and told me to keep working hard,” Dunn wrote. “You know, all the things coaches usually say so you don’t go somewhere and crumble.”
Dunn goes on to write about her initial reaction to the news and how she used the disappointment as motivation throughout the 2015 NWSL season and into the national team camp head of the Olympics.
Read Crystal Dunn’s full article on The Players’ Tribune.