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Postcard from New Zealand: Crystal Dunn


Every so often when a U.S. Women’s National Team plays out of the country, a player will write an e-postcard, filling in the fans back home on the happenings of the team, off field activities, and anything else on their mind.  Today defender Crystal Dunn, a tenacious and feisty marking back who has played all 180 minutes of the last two matches after missing the first game due to illness, checks in on the USA’s upcoming quarterfinal against the Korea Republic, how hot chocolate is a valuable commodity in Hamilton and the tragic misrepresentation of American gardens.

What’s up? Crystal Dunn here and I’ve been given the opportunity to write a postcard for ussoccer.com so I’ve got to represent New York.

First things first, we have a huge game tomorrow against South Korea in the World Cup quarterfinals. This is crunch time for us and we’re in high spirits and feeling good. We are in a good place, we’re pretty calm and I think we can use our excitement to benefit us in the game. It was tough to get through our group, but we overcame some adversity and got it done and that can only make us stronger for this match.

I really enjoy playing in big games in front of crowds and I know the South Koreans always bring some great drum-beating fans so that atmosphere is going to be C-R-A-Z-Y crazy.

Since we got back to Hamilton, it’s been pretty chill. We’ve just been hanging out in each other’s rooms, watching movies and even doing some homework. I have two tests I have to take while I’m over here, one in Spanish and one in English, so I am sort of dreading those, but I’ll get it done, I promise Mr. Giron and Ms. Barberio!

Every day, the maids put two new packets of hot chocolate in our rooms. After we’ve had our own hot chocolate, we go in search of unused packets, and I don’t want to say there are some thieves on this team, but word to the wise, don’t leave your room door unlatched and hide your hot chocolate. Samantha Johnson and Alexi Harris love their hot chocolate so much that I am pretty sure when they go off to college their moms are going to give them a big box of the stuff.

Today we went to Hamilton Gardens which was absolutely beautiful. There were a bunch of mini-gardens set up to represent different countries and parts of the world. We were walking around and saw the sign for Western United States, so we all got excited. We walked in there and there was a few cactus, some old pool furniture, a fake pool that wasn’t deep enough to go over your ankles, and a big mural of Marilyn Monroe. Is this how us Americans are viewed in New Zealand? Everyone else’s garden was so nice and we get pool furniture? I want to invite everyone to my backyard in Rockville Centre, N.Y., for a good ole’ fashioned Long Island BBQ. Then we’d show them how it’s really done.
 
I am really happy right now because I am feeling good health-wise. At the beginning of the tournament, I was practically on my death bed with some sort of exotic illness. I have no idea what happened or what it was because I never get sick. Not even the common cold. But for three days I was down for the count. I had to miss the first game, which was really hard, but the medical staff took good care of me, I got my strength back for the second one and felt good against France. I’m hoping tomorrow we will all be at the top of our game mentally and physically.

I want to give a shout out to my momma who is missing me dearly, I know, and to my brother in college at Binghamton who is always studying hard for his tests, and of course to all my friends back at South Side High School. I miss you all and don’t have too much fun without me!

Peace Out from New Zealand,

Crystal
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