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Courage lands four on US World Cup team

Crystal Dunn is one of four North Carolina Courage players named to the U.S. roster for the Women's World Cup in France next month.
Crystal Dunn is one of four North Carolina Courage players named to the U.S. roster for the Women's World Cup in France next month.

The North Carolina Courage placed four players on the U.S. roster for the Women’s World Cup in France this summer, part of a growing list of players who will miss NWSL time this summer to compete at the highest level.

Defenders Abby Dahlkemper and Crystal Dunn, forward Jessica McDonald and midfielder Samantha Mewis will all be making their first World Cup appearances for the United States. Just missing the final cut: midfielder McCall Zerboni. The Courage is tied with two other NWSL clubs for the most players on the U.S. roster.

Captain Abby Erceg has already been announced as a member of the New Zealand team, while forward Debinha (Brazil) and goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe (Canada) are expected to join their national teams as well, while Courage midfielder Heather O’Reilly will be part of Fox’s television broadcast team for the tournament, which runs June 7-July 7.

The U.S. team will make three stateside appearances in May before opening group play against Thailand on June 11. Games follow against Chile on June 16 and Sweden on June 20. The World Cup group could miss as many as eight NWSL games for the Courage.

Sports columnist Luke DeCock has covered the Summer Olympics, the Final Four, the Super Bowl and the Carolina Hurricanes’ Stanley Cup. He joined The News & Observer in 2000 to cover the Hurricanes and the NHL before becoming a columnist in 2008. A native of Evanston, Ill., he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and has won multiple national and state awards for his columns and feature writing while twice being named North Carolina Sportswriter of the Year.

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