Crystal Dunn: USA star has mastered adaptation in her career

Emilee Geist

Crystal Dunn was in search of a pet sitter. In any other situation, it would have been easy to find someone to watch her beloved animals while she left her home in Portland, Ore., to begin training in Raleigh, N.C., for her fifth season in the NWSL. But this request […]

Crystal Dunn was in search of a pet sitter. In any other situation, it would have been easy to find someone to watch her beloved animals while she left her home in Portland, Ore., to begin training in Raleigh, N.C., for her fifth season in the NWSL. But this request was different. She needed someone with patience. Someone with a sense of humor. Someone who eats eggs—lots of eggs. Her five chickens—Toulouse, Rocky, Quinn, Chelsea and Juke, purchased spontaneously during quarantine—lay multiple per day and require a much more unusual skill set to watch over than your average house cat.

“I treat them as if they’re literally my children,” says Dunn, the North Carolina Courage and U.S. women’s national team’s versatile star. “I always make sure they are taken care of.”

Like all of us, Dunn did not expect 2020 to go like this. At the beginning of the year, there were definitely no chickens in the picture. In January, she envisioned herself spending the summer with the USWNT in Tokyo, competing for an Olympic gold medal and seeking redemption after the team’s shocking quarterfinal ouster at Rio 2016. Instead, she found herself locked down for months, caring for a handful of squawking animals and preparing to head into a bubble in Utah to play an abbreviated tournament with the Courage. If you think this type of chaos and uncertainty could rattle Dunn, well, you probably don’t know her at all.

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