Late in the year 2022 National Women’s Soccer League season United States women’s national team and Portland Thorns star Crystal Dunn returned to play just four months after giving birth to her son, Marcel. Mere weeks later, she scored a goal in second-half stoppage time to send Portland to the NWSL Championship.
But even a player as talented as Dunn had doubts about whether she’d be able to return to play after giving birth. “The process of getting back, I mean, it feels endless,” she told hosts Meghan Klingenberg and Eric Alvarez on the NBC and Telemundo podcast.My New Favorite Futbolista.” “You’re just like, Am I ever gonna be able to run for five minutes straight? Who knows? …
“There were doubts. There were moments of, here and there, where I was like, ‘Oh, I feel unfit. I am severely out of shape. This doesn’t feel great.’ And then, from one day to another, I mean, there’s a switch where you just all of a sudden are like, ‘I’m feeling good.'”
This season, Dunn has five goals in 11 games, which ranks fifth in the league entering Saturday and second on the Thorns behind forward Sophia Smith. Beyond winning games, Dunn said she hopes to be an example to other mothers, particularly Black mothers.
“One thing I’m super passionate about is always representing women of color in this sport, always preaching diversity in this sport and really trying to… leave this game in a better way, where there’s visibility, there’s representation, there’s a way for people to turn their TV on and see someone who looks like them,” she said. “Obviously, I do want to win; that’s always going to be top, top priority. But … it gives me great joy to be able to play for something higher than just winning a soccer game.”
Subscribe to The Equalizer Extra for great content like this: