USMNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski: “Right now, Crystal is listed as a defender. That’s where we see her.” (Outfoxed Media Photo)
By Michael Lewis
Crystal Dunn will remain on the U.S. women’s national team’s backline, at least for the time being.
When the U.S. roster was announced Thursday for the 11-day training camp in Commerce City, Colo., the Rockville Centre, N.Y. native was listed as a defender.
Dunn has been an attacking midfielder for National Women’s Soccer League powerhouse North Carolina Courage, a role many soccer observers have felt is a better position for the University of North Carolina product to display her talents.
She played a tenacious defense in helping the USA capture its second consecutive Women’s World Cup in 2019.
During a media conference call with the media Friday, head coach Vlatko Andonovski explained why Dunn will remain on defense.
“We take everything into consideration when we’re selecting the roster or the position of the players,” he said. “Right now, Crystal is listed as a defender. That’s where we see her. I don’t want to exclude anything. We don’t know what’s going to happen in the next camp or going forward in the camps to come or the games, hopefully that we’re going to play in the future.”
The one-time South Side High School and Albertson Soccer Club standout is among nine players from the 2019 Women’s World Cup championship team that will attend the camp, which runs from Oct. 18-28.
Other familiar names include goalkeepers Alyssa Naeher, Ashlyn Harris and Adrianna Franch, defenders Abby Dahlkemper, Kelley O’Hara, Ali Krieger and Tierna Davidson and midfielder Lindsey Horan.
She was among 27 players selected for the first USWNT camp since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. hard in March.