Rockville Centre's Crystal Dunn, Team USA ready for the World Cup


“We are off!” soccer star Crystal Dunn tweeted on May 27, adding an airplane icon. “#Worldcupbound.”

The journey to the World Cup in France is one Dunn, 26, who grew up in Rockville Centre and helped lead South Side High School’s soccer team to state titles in 2006, 2007 and 2009, has awaited since being left off the roster in 2015.

“Can’t say I haven’t waited for this moment,” Dunn wrote on Twitter last month, after Jill Ellis, Team USA’s head coach, announced the 23 players to compete at the World Cup in France. “I’ve.Stayed.Ready.”

Dunn, one of seven defenders named to the squad, was part of the U.S. team that won the 2012 FIFA under-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan. She went on to play for the U.S. Women’s National Team the following year, and, since 2013, has scored 24 goals for the squad in 86 appearances. 

Since the roster was finalized, Dunn and the squad have claimed considerable spotlight — on the field, in three warm-up matches before the World Cup — and in plain public view, on billboards and magazine covers.

The Americans faced South Africa on May 12, New Zealand on May 16 and Mexico on May 26 before heading to the World Cup. They breezed through the friendlies, outscoring the three opponents by a combined score of 11-0.

Meanwhile, Dunn and her teammates’ likenesses can be seen around Manhattan and Los Angeles, as well as on newsstands. The South Side alum’s face is near Times Square, and at the subway platform at 40th Street and 6th Avenue. It is also on one of six magazine covers released by Sports Illustrated last week for its World Cup preview.

The World Cup will kick off on June 7, when the host, France, plays Korea. Team USA is set to face Thailand, on June 11 at 3 p.m., Chile, on June 16 at noon, and Sweden, on June 20 at 3 p.m., as the four squads battle in Group F.