July 12, 2016
THE RIO TRIO
O'Hara, Dunn, Long named to U.S. women's Olympic team
|Crystal Dunn was named to the U.S. Olympic team.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Three area women have been chosen to the U.S. women's Olympic team.
Sky Blue FC defender Kelley O'Hara and Crystal Dunn and Allie Long of Long Island were tapped by head coach Jill Ellis for the Rio Summer Games next month, it was announced Tuesday.
Versatility was a key factor for all three women selected to the team.
O'Hara, a member of last year's Women's World Cup championship team, also can play midfield, a role she embraced in Canada in 2015. She turns 28 on Aug. 4, a day after the USA plays New Zealand in its Olympic opening match in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
ďI donít think it will ever get old or less stressful when it comes to making a roster because this team is so deep and so many people can make it," O'Hara said. "Can it be a dream come true if itís your second Olympics? I say yes because itís special to go to another one. Not a lot of people are two-time Olympians. Iím honored to be on this team and represent the USA.Ē
Dunn, who grew up in Rockville Centre, N.Y., was one of the final cuts of last year's WWC team. She went on a scoring tear for the Washington Spirit and was earned MVP honors and emerged as the National Women's Soccer League leading goal-scorer. The 24-year-old Dunn continued to score for the the national team. Dunn was awarded the Golden Boot in the CONCACAF Olympic tournament, scoring six goals, including five in a victory over Puerto Rico in Frisco, Texas.
"I am more than excited about going to Rio," Dunn said in a statement. "Making this roster means so many things to me. I have worked very hard to be exactly where I am today. I feel like everything I've gone through has made me better. I am excited to represent my country in Rio!"
A former star at Northport High School, the 28-year-old Long was considered a longshot to make the team prior to this year, but her overall play for the Portland Thorns and versatility -- she can play attacking and defensive midfield roles -- helped win her a place on the team.
ďAs soon as Jill said congrats, I was so grateful and thankful," Long said. "I tried not to cry, but when we hung up the phone I did; only happy tears. It was such a cool moment. People had told me this was impossible. The team had just won the World Cup, it was hard that they would change the team and I came in so late, but it happened. I think itís one of the most humbling and special experiences. This is my first big tournament, but I know what it means to represent your country. I watched the last Olympic Games and I know how cool it is and what it takes to win. You represent everyone in the U.S. and everyone is watching. Itís so special. Iím focusing on being my best, both physically and mentally. I think when Iím there it will hit me, but this is unbelievable and Iím so happy.Ē
The Olympic team can only have 18 players as opposed to the 23-player roster in Canada last summer. So, Ellis made sure she had versatile players.