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Crystal Dunn plays in first USWNT game months after giving birth

(Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)

U.S. women’s national team defender Crystal Dunn returned to the world stage on Friday for the first time since giving birth to her son in May.

In the 63rd minute of the USWNT’s 2-1 loss to England, the 2021 Concacaf Player of the Year subbed in for Sofia Huerta at fullback in front of a crowd of 76,893 at Wembley Stadium in London.

“I can’t even find the words to express how happy and excited I am to be back playing for the USWNT,” Dunn wrote on Twitter after the game. “I don’t ever take these moments for granted. Thank you everyone for rocking with me and cheering me on throughout my journey…the best is yet to come.”

The friendly was Dunn’s 124th international cap and her first since Sept. 16, 2021. It was also the 30-year-old’s second national team camp this year after she joined the squad as a training player for the two-game series against Nigeria in September.

Three days after returning from camp last month, she played in her first game since her pregnancy, suiting up for her NWSL club, Portland Thorns FC, in a 2-0 shutout win over the Orlando Pride.

Dunn, the NWSL’s 2015 Golden Boot winner, was listed as a defender with the national team for the October friendlies against England and Spain. Head coach Vlatko Andonovski told the media that her position could change but did not specify how.

Joining Dunn on Friday at Wembley Stadium was her son, Marcel Soubrier, who was seen entering the stadium with her and waiting on the sideline after the game.