On Thursday, long-time U.S. Women’s National Team and National Women’s Soccer League defender Ali Krieger announced her retirement at the end of the 2023 NWSL Season. She will play one final season with NJ/NY Gotham FC before closing a chapter on a legendary career.
“I see the 2023 season as an opportunity to celebrate with our fans and my fellow players, but make no mistake – my entire focus is on winning the NWSL championship with Gotham FC,” said Krieger in a press release. “In a career filled with blessings, the NWSL title is one of the only trophies I still have yet to win. I’ve worked really hard to get to this point. I’ve always been inspired by winning, competing, and a desire to be the best, and this will be my last chance to win a championship. I’m determined to work with my teammates to make this final goal a reality. To achieve this before our incredible Gotham FC fans will motivate me every day this season.”
The native of Alexandria, Virginia played collegiately at Penn State from 2003 to 2006 where she led her team to four consecutive Big Ten championships, scored 12 goals and added 19 assists in her 129 college games. It was during college that Krieger made the career-changing switch from midfielder to defender.
In 2007, Krieger went overseas to play with FFC Frankfurt (Eintracht Frankfurt) of Germany’s Frauen-Bundesliga. She was an integral part of the team that won the UEFA Women’s Champions League in 2008. Krieger also played for Tyresö FF of Damallsvenskan – Sweden’s top-flight league.
It is difficult to even begin to summarize Krieger’s professional career which spanned five club teams over two continents and 108 appearances for the USWNT. During that time, Krieger participated in the 2016 Olympic Games and played in three FIFA Women’s World Cup. She was a pivotal part of the 2015 and 2019 World Cup Winning teams.
Krieger’s professional clubs in the NWSL include the Washington Spirit (2013 – 2016) and Orlando Pride (2017 – 2021). In 2017, she started every game for the Pride and led the team to their first playoff berth, and was named to the NWSL Best XI. She will now end her storied career in New York/New Jersey with Gotham FC.
Krieger’s accolades extend well beyond the pitch. Fans around the globe have long admired her for her tireless advocacy for many important issues including the LGBTQ+ community and equal pay.
“I want to leave the game better than where I found it,” said Krieger. “I believe we have accomplished a lot since we’ve started. I want to be remembered as being a good person and a good teammate who worked tirelessly to create a space for everyone to feel safe and seen, for speaking up for things that should be better for the younger generation. That’s the legacy I want to leave.”
Want even more women’s sports coverage?
Readers of The Equalizer can now save 50 percent off their subscription to our partner publication, The IX. Delivered six days a week, The IX will help you catch up on the latest headlines in women’s soccer, tennis, basketball, golf, hockey and gymnastics.