Crystal Dunn was honored in pregame ceremonies. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
HARRISON, N.J. — It’s not every day a player reaches 100 caps.
So, Sunday was special for Crystal Dunn in several ways.
Most importantly, the United States defeated Spain, 1-0, on Julie Ertz’s 87th-minute goal to put itself into the driver’s seat to win the SheBelieves Cup.
Several minutes before kickoff, U.S. Soccer honored the Rockville Centre, N.Y. native was honored for reach the 100-cap mark with a special ceremony. Dunn became the 29th USWNT player to reach triple figures.
With her husband Pierre Soubrier and parents on the field at Red Bull Arena, the federation gave the 27-year-old left back a special framed shirt with the number 100 on it.
Dunn reached the century mark in the Americans’ semifinal win at the Concacaf Olympic qualifying tournament.
“Oh yeah, it was fun,” she said. “It was really, really great. It was really an honor to play in front of my family. They don’t get to make to every single game. My parents teared up a bit and that was really cool. My husband flew for just literally for the first 40 minutes of the game. It was just great. It was an honor to see me play in person again.”
Dunn, who played for the RVC Soccer Club and Albertson Soccer Club, earned her first cap when she replaced defender Ali Krieger in the 69th minute of the USA’s 3-1 win over Scotland on Feb. 13, 2013. She has scored 24 goals in 103 appearances.
The USA (2-0-0, 6 points) can clinch the tournament title with at least a tie against Japan (0-2-0, 0) in the tournament finale in in Frisco, Texas on Wednesday night. In the first game of the doubleheader England (1-1) edged Japan, 1-0, on Ellen White’s 83rd-minute goal.