In 2016, the U.S. Women’s National Team played 25 matches and scored 92 goals. More than 65% were scored by four players: Crystal Dunn, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan and Christen Press.
Here is a breakdown of the performance of each player in 2016:
Crystal Dunn – A Breakthrough Year
Coming of an NWSL MVP season in 2015 with the Washington Sprit, Crystal Dunn had by far her best year as a U.S. WNT player in 2016. In her three previous yearly campaigns combined, Dunn had played in 20 games and scored four goals. In 2016 alone, she played in 25 games and scored 14 goals, more than tripling her tallies from 2013-15. She also played 1,494 minutes in 2016, a number that once again almost tripled the 532 minutes she played in 2013, the most she had been on the field before this year.
Dunn’s 2016 also included a five-goal game performance on Feb. 15 against Puerto Rico. On that day, Dunn became the seventh U.S. player to achieve that feat joining Brandi Chastain (1991), Michelle Akers (1991), Tiffeny Milbrett (2002), Abby Wambach (2004), Amy Rodriguez (2012) and Sydney Leroux (2012). It was also Dunn's first multi-goal game for the WNT.Read more
Entering the USA’s final Group A match against Puerto Rico on Feb. 15 at the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, forward Crystal Dunn had scored five goals in her career with the WNT. She walked off the field with 10.
Dunn did what only seven other women in the 31 years of the WNT program had done before, scoring five goals in one match to tie a record first set in 1991 by Brandi Chastain during a Women’s World Cup Qualifying match.
In fact, of the seven times a U.S. player has scored five goals in a game, only twice was it not in a CONCACAF qualifier for the World Cup or Olympics, that being when Abby Wambach scored all five goals in the second half of a 5-0 win vs. Ireland in 2002 and Michelle Akers scored five in a Women’s World Cup match against Chinese Taipei in 1991.
“This was a special moment, definitely,” Dunn said. “Anytime I score goals on this team, I think it’s always special. There are so many great finishers in the history of this team and to be among the players who have scored five goals is a great feeling.”
Dunn scored twice in the first half, which was already the first multi-goal game of her career, and then followed it up by adding three more in the second to catapult her performance into the record books.
“It felt amazing to score those five goals, but I certainly didn’t expect it,” said Dunn, who played in the striker position for the first time for the U.S. WNT. “I can’t remember ever scoring five goals before but I just I wanted to play well and do well for my team.”
The reigning NWSL Most Valuable Player will see her name in the record book alongside Chastain, Akers, Tiffeny Milbrett, Wambach, Amy Rodriguez and Sydney Leroux, the last two, each getting five in a game at the 2012 Olympic qualifying tournament in Vancouver.
While Dunn realizes the historical significance of the feat, she also knows that there are many more goals to achieve.
“It was a special game for sure but I’d like to think there’s more to come,” she said. “So I’ll hold that in my back pocket for now and at the end of my career we’ll see where it stands as far as highlights.”Read more
The U.S. Women’s National Team finished atop Group A at the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, securing nine points and a 3-0-0 record after a 10-0 shutout of Puerto Rico at Toyota Stadium on Monday night.
Crystal Dunn scored five goals in the match to lead the way for the USA. Dunn’s performance tied a U.S. WNT record for most goals scored in a match, as she became the seventh player to achieve the feat in the 31 years of the WNT program. Carli Lloyd, Kelley O’Hara, Christen Press and Samantha Mewis added goals to the final score line. Puerto Rico also had an own goal.
The USA now travels to Houston for the semifinal match on Feb. 19. Its opponent will be determined on Tuesday night following the conclusion of the Guyana vs. Trinidad & Tobago match in Group B. The winners of the semifinal matches qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.Read more