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American Girl

In 2015, during the World Cup, I had a routine.

I did it before every match.

I’d put on my USA hat, pull it down real low so nobody could see my face … and then I’d head to the nearest soccer bar in the neighborhood I was living outside Maryland. And that’s where I watched my friends, my teammates and my heroes win the World Cup in Vancouver.

In some packed, dingy bar, with a hat covering most of my face so that no one would recognize me — Crystal Dunn, the last cut from the 2015 World Cup-winning USWNT — is where I ended up experiencing one of the greatest triumphs in our country’s sporting history.

There’s no sugar-coating that time in my life. It was a really weird sensation. On one hand, I was thrilled for all those girls. I knew them so well from the junior ranks to the senior camps, and to our club teams — they were my family. They were my girls, you know?? But on the other hand … man I was close. So close. Like everything you dream about as a soccer player in this country, it was right there in front of me a few weeks before. Until it wasn’t. I hated myself for feeling even a little conflicted — I shouldn’t be jealous. Be supportive! But all I wanted, so badly, was to be a part of that group. To help my team. To represent my country.

Read Full Article (via Players Tribune)