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Five Spirit Players Set to Go For Gold at Rio Olympics

Today marks the opening rounds of the women’s soccer tournament of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, and five players on the Washington Spirit, women’s professional soccer team will play pivotal roles in their teams’ run for an Olympic Gold Medal.

The five Washington Spirit players participating in the Rio Olympics are; forward Crystal Dunn and defender Ali Krieger, who will represent the U.S. Women’s National Team , while midfielder Diana Matheson, defender Shelina Zadorsky and goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé will play for the Canadian Women’s National Team.

Both teams will make their 2016 Rio Olympic debut a few days prior to Friday’s Opening Ceremonies. The Canadian National Team will begin play today at 2:00 pm as they take on Australia in the Group Stage of the tournament. While the U.S. Women’s National Team will play tonight, (August 3) at 6:00 pm, in a match against New Zealand. Both games will be televised on NBCSN.

Spirit forward Crystal Dunn will not only be making her Olympic debut, but will take part in a major international tournament for the first time in her career. She was a crucial part of qualifying for Rio, winning the Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Associations of Football (CONCACAF) Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament Golden Boot with six goals. Dunn has a total of 13 goals in 34 appearances for the United States Women’s National Team. The forward had an impressive 2015 campaign in the National Women’s Soccer League, winning the Most Valuable Player and Golden Boot awards after leading the league with 15 goals. She currently sits in second place in the NWSL with four assists in 2016.

“I am more than excited about going to Rio,” said Dunn. “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.”