Crystal Dunn discusses move to Chelsea, future

Dan Lauletta January 16, 2017 35
Cyrstal Dunn is off to Chelsea after national team camp. After that? Who knows. (Photo copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer.)

Cyrstal Dunn is off to Chelsea after national team camp. After that? Who knows. (Photo copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer.)

Crystal Dunn is on an 18-month contract with Chelsea Ladies and will join the English club at the conclusion of camp with the United States, she confirmed to a small group of reporters last week.

“That’s how long I plan to be there. It seems like a long time,” the 2015 NWSL Most Valable Player said.

Dunn reiterated that she has no plans to play in NWSL this season even though Chelsea does not have another FAWSL season until the fall due to the league transitioning back to a traditional scheduling window.

“I think playing in two different leagues in the same calendar year can be a bit much,” she said. “I knew in my heart that 2017 was the year for me to experience being in a different country and playing in a new league. I wanted to jump in at the start of the year. I just didn’t see myself playing with Spirit and being like ‘Okay, it’s time to leave now.’ This is a year that I’m just putting my all into a new experience. I need to invest fully, be in that environment and give it a whirl.”

The former No. 1 overall pick in NWSL spent two days at Chelsea as part of a broader trip to Europe and “fell in love pretty much.”

“What they have to offer is incredible. A true professional environment, so close knit with the men’s team. Seeing the Chelsea men’s team right there next to you makes you feel like they have a lot of respect for the women’s side. They feel like we need to be on the same playing field as the men.”

Chelsea head coach Emma Hayes was also a selling point. The first coach of the Chicago Red Stars when that club was formed ahead of WPS, Hayes is now considered among the handful of very best coaches in the women’s game today.

“I think Emma just comes off as a human being,” Dunn said. “It’s really great to have that connection with your coach. At the end of the day, they’re a human, I’m a human, it’s great to be treated as such. Being to feel comfortable having any conversation with her (about) any concerns that I have is really important. That’s what she gives players. I’ve heard nothing but great things about her.”

Despite saying she wanted to be fully invested in her new environs, Dunn did make sure she had stipulations in her contract that allow her to join the U.S. anytime they gather. That’s why she was at training last week and through the end of January camp, and that’s why she plans to return again for SheBelieves.

As for a return to the Spirit, Dunn was very non-committal about the future but did confirm a pleasant chat with the club’s head coach Jim Gabarra before departing.

“I can’t predict the future,” she said. “Eighteen months from now I have no idea what’s going to happen. I did have a conversation with (Gabarra) and said I’m not saying I want my rights traded. D.C. is my home. I just bought a house there. Me having to pick up and move is not necessarily what I want…but I obviously didn’t really stay too connected to my home picking up and moving to England.”

  • Timber Dave

    Dunn has been the best US striker over the last year. Glad she’s getting some experience abroad. I suspect she’ll be back home in 2018 because of the World Cup soon after.

    • Steglitz49

      Crystal for sure gave Sweden a lot of headaches in Brasilia last August.

    • guest

      Uh no. Christen Press has been the best striker figuring in club play. Dunn and Morgan don’t want to be schooled by Press in the NWSL anymore so they are running away.

      • HOFCToDi

        Calendar Year 2016
        FIFA Top 10 Ranked Opponents
        USWNT Goals Scored
        Morgan (DOB 02 Jul 1989) – 6
        Horan (DOB 26 May 1994) – 2
        Dunn (DOB 03 Jul 1992) – 1
        Heath (DOB 29 May 1988) – 1
        Johnston (DOB 06 Apr 1992) – 1
        Lloyd (DOB 16 Jul 1982) – 1
        Mewis (DOB 09 Oct 1992) – 1

        By the way, Christen Press is not on the list.

        ussoccer.com/womens-national-team/lineups

        Christen Press is the quintessential international fraud.

        4 years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
        78 caps
        2 head coaches

        Christen Press has cemented her legacy with the USWNT:

        garbage time
        prima donna
        selfish shot hog
        tomato cans

        • Tom F

          read the OP’s post once again, he/she wrote

          “Christen Press “is one of the best strikers in CLUB play” he/she never mentioned the UWSNT

          • Steglitz49

            She hit the crossbar in the SF when all she needed to do was roll the ball into the net.

          • FlyingSquirrel42

            Mentioning Christen Press in a positive context more or less guarantees at least one or two “Christen Press sucks because of statistics X, Y, and Z” posts from HOF.

          • Reality

            Trolls are usually frustrated and angry individuals who vent their spleen anonymously in forums such as this. That’s not counting the ones who are certifiably demented. In either case, they are best ignored and blocked.

      • HOFCToDi

        Christen Press
        Summer Olympic Games
        Goals – 0, Assists – 0

        Christen Press
        SheBelieves Cup
        Goals – 0, Assists – 0

        Christen Press
        CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying
        Knockout Stage
        Goals – 0, Assists – 0

        Christen Press is the quintessential international fraud.

        4 years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
        78 caps
        2 head coaches

        Christen Press has cemented her legacy with the USWNT:

        garbage time
        prima donna
        selfish shot hog
        tomato cans

      • HOFCToDi

        Sunday, 21 Feb 2016
        TSG announces CWOQ Best XI, Awards
        ussoccer.com/v~13.17/~/media/images/wnt/gallery-images/2016/02/160221-wnt-v-can/photo-gallery/160221-wnt-vs-can-photo-gallery19.jpg?h=600&w=786&la=en&hash=BF5ABEEA5BE7034EF13FA4F320F9E7BB8E549331&yocs=6_&yoloc=us

        concacaf.com/article/tsg-announces-cwoq-best-xi-awards

        By the way, Christen Press is not on the list.

        Christen Press is the quintessential international fraud.

        4 years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
        78 caps
        2 head coaches

        Christen Press has cemented her legacy with the USWNT:

        garbage time
        prima donna
        selfish shot hog
        tomato cans

      • HOFCToDi

        Friday, 11 Mar 2016
        Morgan, Solo and the USA Sweep Awards at 2016 SBC
        ussoccer.com/v~13.17/~/media/images/wnt/gallery-images/2016/03/160309-wnt-v-ger/160309-wnt-vs-ger-gallery20.jpg?h=559&w=800&la=en&hash=B1A7B6E0C01C796F4C31CF422F0CC370A4D5CF89&yocs=6_&yoloc=us

        ussoccer.com/stories/2016/03/11/13/17/160311-wnt-morgan-solo-and-the-usa-sweep-awards-at-2016-shebelieves-cup

        By the way, Christen Press is not on the list.

        Christen Press is the quintessential international fraud.

        4 years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
        78 caps
        2 head coaches

        Christen Press has cemented her legacy with the USWNT:

        garbage time
        prima donna
        selfish shot hog
        tomato cans

      • HOFCToDi

        Christen Press
        2016 Summer Olympic Games
        Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots Attempted 6, Shots on Goal 1
        Penalty Kicks Attempted 1, Penalty Kicks Converted 0

        Christen Press
        2016 Rio Olympics
        12 Aug 2016
        USA 1 SWE 1
        Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots Attempted 2, Shots on Goal 0
        Penalty Kicks Attempted 1, Penalty Kicks Converted 0

        rio2016.com/en/football-womens-quarterfinal-fb-3

        Christen Press
        2016 Rio Olympics
        09 Aug 2016
        USA 2 COL 2
        Goals 0, Assists 0, Shots Attempted 4, Shots on Goal 1
        Penalty Kicks Attempted 0, Penalty Kicks Converted 0

        rio2016.com/en/football-womens-first-round-group-g-fb-5

        Christen Press is the quintessential international fraud.

        4 years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
        78 caps
        2 head coaches

        Christen Press has cemented her legacy with the USWNT:

        garbage time
        prima donna
        selfish shot hog
        tomato cans

      • HOFCToDi

        Calendar Year 2016
        FIFA Top 12 Ranked Opponents
        USWNT Goals Scored
        Press – 0

        Calendar Year 2016
        FIFA Top 12 Ranked Opponents
        USWNT Assists Provided
        Press – 0

        Christen Press is the quintessential international fraud.

        4 years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
        78 caps
        2 head coaches

        Christen Press has cemented her legacy with the USWNT:

        garbage time
        prima donna
        selfish shot hog
        tomato cans

      • HOFCToDi

        USWNT Career
        FIFA Top 10 Ranked Opponents
        USWNT Goals Scored
        Morgan (DOB 02 Jul 1989) – 34
        Leroux (DOB 07 May 1990) – 8
        Press (DOB 29 Dec 1988) – 3

        Christen Press is the quintessential international fraud.

        4 years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
        78 caps
        2 head coaches

        Christen Press has cemented her legacy with the USWNT:

        garbage time
        prima donna
        selfish shot hog
        tomato cans

      • HOFCToDi

        Summer Olympic Games
        Games Started
        Leroux (DOB 07 May 1990) – 0
        Press (DOB 29 Dec 1988) – 1

        Summer Olympic Games
        Minutes Played
        Leroux (DOB 07 May 1990) – 77
        Press (DOB 29 Dec 1988) – 123

        Summer Olympic Games
        Goals Scored
        Leroux (DOB 07 May 1990) – 1
        Press (DOB 29 Dec 1988) – 0

        Christen Press is the quintessential international fraud.

        4 years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
        78 caps
        2 head coaches

        Christen Press has cemented her legacy with the USWNT:

        garbage time
        prima donna
        selfish shot hog
        tomato cans

      • mockmook

        Thanks for bringing this well thought out perspective that was not in any way trolling…

  • Steglitz49

    What is there to discuss? One of the most glamorous clubs managed by a top notch coach. “If you are tired of London, you are tired of life.”

    • FlyingSquirrel42

      Yeah, though London does get attacked by aliens surprisingly often according to Doctor Who.

      • Steglitz49

        Touché! — or whatever Daleks say.

        • FlyingSquirrel42

          They’d probably say, “You have made a valid point…AND THEREFORE MUST BE EXTERMINATED! EX-TER-MI-NATE!”

          • Steglitz49

            Who was your favorite Dr Who?

          • FlyingSquirrel42

            I’ve yet to catch up on the newer ones. I sort of grew up on British sci-fi, and like many in the U.S. we only had Tom Baker’s serials available for a while, but I like Pertwee and McCoy quite a bit too. Did the original series get much attention in Sweden, or just the newer ones?

          • Steglitz49

            They had a lot of attention in England. i remember Pertwee well.

            As for Sweden, as far as I know Daleks and Dr Who are an unknown concept. A bit like biathlon in the UK — or the US come to think of it.

  • I think it’s a smart move to make. The timing is perfect. Good for her.

  • kernel_thai

    When asked about returning to the Spirit she neither said it was time to move on nor that she’d return after her Eurotrip.

  • Ron Rocha

    Crystal has been taught well. She says just enough that you’ll always know she’s there but not so much that you’ll ever know exactly where ‘there’ is at.

  • Som Termanni

    > Dunn reiterated that she has no plans to play in NWSL this season even though Chelsea does not have another FAWSL season until the fall due to the league transitioning back to a traditional scheduling window.

    Chelsea kicks off the WSL 1 Spring Series at Manchester City on 23rd of April, with Chelsea’s final match being on at Birmingham on 3rd of June.

    Are you saying Crystal Dunn isn’t playing in the Spring Series, or that you didn’t know there was a Spring Series?

  • Bruce

    “Despite saying she wanted to be fully invested in her new environs, Dunn did make sure she had stipulations in her contract that allow her to join the U.S. anytime they gather. That’s why she was at training last week…”

    I’d wager that none of the current players in W-League have that freedom, and it’s a main reason why none of that group are going to camp. At least I hope so.

    • Steglitz49

      Chelsea and Arsenal Ladies are playing a small tournament against the Swedish teams Rosengård and Linköping in February. They will use Chelsea Ladies ground which is on the outskirts of London.

  • Tom F

    Wendy Richard has been offered $400K by Chelsea, I did read that Kim Little’s contract was pretty close in that ball park figure. Anybody know how much Crystal Dunn is going to be paid?

    • Steglitz49

      $400k sounds too much given the various restrictions the FA has on pay on the WoSo side. Also these clubs do not pay more than they need to, however rich they are.

    • #1Fan

      Little is getting nowhere near that amount. And its Renard.

  • Reality

    Former USWNT star Heather O’Reilly signs with Arsenal Ladies…

    http://www.excellesports.com/news/heather-oreilly-signs-arsenal-ladies/

    • Steglitz49

      HAO is dropped in at the deep end. The Gunners have a number of games lined up.

      These include on Feb 4th against Wolfsburg in Portugal, Feb 9th vs Rosengard at Chelsea Ladies ground (also a match against Linköping and possibly Chelsea too), and then on Feb 19th at home a Kelly Smith celebration game vs an All Star XI.

      HAO will earn her keep but she gets to wear one of the most iconic strips in football.