After she was left off the U.S. roster for the Women’s World Cup last year, Crystal Dunn says there were days she didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. Dunn, 23, turned her disappointment into drive and said she has improved as a player.
Dunn turns snub into motivation
After she was left off the U.S. roster for the Women’s World Cup last year, Crystal Dunn says there were days she didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning.
Dunn turned her disappointment into drive.
“I think once I took it as, ‘There are other things waiting for me,’ that’s when I became a better player,” she said. “This is such a high level and it’s so easy to fall out of love with the sport because you’re in such an intense environment.”
Dunn, 23, is a versatile midfielder for the U.S. national team. She is on the roster for the Olympic-qualification tournament for the North and Central America and Caribbean region that starts this week in Texas.
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The top two finishers qualify for this year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The U.S. women have won the gold medal in the past three Olympics.
Dunn struggled with injuries before last year’s World Cup and was left off the roster for the qualifying tournament. But she wasn’t prepared for the phone call from coach Jill Ellis telling her she didn’t make the 23-player roster for her sport’s biggest event.
“It was super devastating to hear that I wasn’t going to be part of such an amazing tournament. It hurt a lot,” Dunn said. “It took a couple of weeks to dust myself off and continue to want to play the game after such a heartbreaking moment.”
But Dunn did exactly that, throwing herself into the National Women’s Soccer League season with the Washington Spirit. She scored 15 goals in 20 appearances, earning the NWSL’s Golden Boot and Most Valuable Player awards.
“I would say getting left off the (U.S.) roster actually improved me in so many ways,” she said. “I was stronger this past year. I was way more focused and I learned to love the game again.”
Clippard, Arizona agree on deal
Right-handed reliever Tyler Clippard, 30, agreed to a $12.25 million, two-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Clippard was 5-4 with a 2.92 earned-run average last year with the Oakland Athletics and New York Mets, holding batters to a .186 average. He was better (.133) against batters when there were runners in scoring position.
The Diamondbacks also settled their arbitration case with A.J. Pollock, 28, by giving the All-Star outfielder a $10.25 million, two-year deal.
• All-Star outfielder J.D. Martinez has agreed to an $18.5 million, two-year contract with the Detroit Tigers, according to a source with knowledge of the deal. The 28-year-old Martinez, who hit 38 home runs for the Tigers last season, was eligible for arbitration through next year.
• Free-agent outfielder Delmon Young, 30, was arrested after he choked and threatened a parking attendant at a Miami hotel Sunday night, police said.
Young, who appeared in 52 games for the Baltimore Orioles last year, grabbed the attendant’s neck and called him a “stupid Cuban,” according to an arrest report. The attendant told police he had refused to let Young on an elevator to a club at the Viceroy Miami because the club was closed. Young left the area for a short time, then returned and attacked the attendant again, the report said.
Hotel security staff was familiar with Young and directed officers to his condo, which is located in the hotel’s rear tower. Young was arrested and charged with battery. He was released Monday on $1,500 bail, according to jail records.
• Star Cuban infielder Yulieski Gourriel, 31, and his brother, 22-year-old Lourdes Gourriel Jr., slipped away from their hotel in the Dominican Republic in an apparent effort to launch careers in major-league baseball.
Shiffrin plans to return next week
In about a week, 20-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin plans to return to World Cup competition on a knee that healed faster than she expected.
The Olympic and world slalom champion from Eagle-Vail, Colo., announced she will compete next week in Switzerland for the first time since tearing a ligament in her right knee in December.
Stevens to seek world hour mark
Olympic cyclist Evelyn Stevens will attempt to set the world hour record Feb. 22 in Colorado Springs, Colo. The distance traveled in an hour is one of the most hallowed challenges in the sport.
The women’s record of 46.882 kilometers was set Jan. 22 by Australian Bridie O’Donnell in Adelaide.
• The Phoenix Mercury has re-signed forward Penny Taylor, 34, a two-time WNBA All-Star who didn’t play in the league last season.
• Beth Tweddle, 30, a former Olympic bronze medalist in gymnastics, is recovering in an Austrian hospital after undergoing neck surgery.
She fell while training for “The Jump,” a winter-sports reality TV show in Britain.
• Lakatriona “Bernice” Brunson, who appears on the reality-TV series “South Beach Tow,” is the first woman to be a head coach in Florida high-school football. Brunson has been hired by Miami Jackson High.
• Alex Tuch scored 1:57 into overtime, and Boston College beat Boston University for its 20th Beanpot championship in the first 1-0 final in the hockey tournament’s 64-year history. Thatcher Demko stopped 30 BU shots for his school-record ninth shutout of the season.