U.S. coach Jill Ellis has called ex-U.S. regular Crystal Dunn into the Women’s National Team camp ahead of its upcoming Send-Off Series matches versus Ireland and Mexico.
The former #1 overall pick in the NWSL Draft was a regular call up under former U.S. WNT coach Tom Sermanni, but has found opportunities hard to come by since Sermanni was replaced by Jill Ellis in April 2014 following a poor performance in the Algarve Cup.
U.S. midfielder Tobin Heath recently suffered a strained hamstring and will be unavailable for the two friendlies, which will serve as warm-up games ahead of the World Cup in Canada.
Dunn, who has only one start since Ellis took over as coach, has started the 2015 NWSL season on fire, notching three goals and an assist through the first four games with the Washington Spirit.
The defender possesses lightning speed and a deft touch, which has seen her venture forward more frequently this season. In her rookie year last season, Dunn notched three assists and did not score a goal in 21 appearances.
Many fans were disappointed not to see Dunn’s name amongst the 23-player roster for the World Cup that was announced on April 14, but she will have the chance to prove her value to Ellis and sneak into the squad at the expense of one of the 23 players.
Dunn will return to Washington to play in their NWSL games on May 9th and 16th, but she will try to take advantage of this opportunity and show off her stuff in training to earn a deserved spot on the roster. It will be tough to cut someone off a roster this late, but Dunn’s youth, energy, and x-factor are valuable assets to a relatively old U.S. squad, which is close to 29 years old.
The U.S. take on Ireland in San Jose, CA on May 10th, before traveling to Carson, CA to take on Mexico a week later. Be sure to follow GotSoccer on Twitter so you can be up-to-date on all things soccer!