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Soccer Icon Ali Krieger Announces Plans to Retire after Gotham FC’s 2023 NWSL Season

By Gotham FC, 03/23/23, 8:30AM EDT


Three-time World Cup player and Olympian sets sights on NWSL title to mark end of career

HARRISON, NJ (March 23, 2023)The iconic U.S. Women’s National Team and National Women’s Soccer League defender Ali Krieger, who is revered by fans and players for her work on and off the pitch, announced today that the 2023 NWSL season with Gotham FC will be the final chapter of her legendary playing 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 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."

Over the span of her 108 appearances for the USWNT, Krieger was a member of three FIFA Women’s World Cup teams (2011, 2015, and 2019) – winning in 2015 and 2019. In 2015, she helped lead one of the greatest defensive performances in World Cup history when the U.S. recorded five shutouts and held opponents scoreless for 540 consecutive minutes. The following year, she was a member of the U.S. team that won the Concacaf Olympic Qualifying tournament, and she later starred for Team USA at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

Krieger was also a champion and pioneer in the professional ranks internationally. In 2008, Krieger – at the time the only woman on the USWNT playing overseas – won the UEFA Women’s Champions League with 1. FFC Frankfurt (Eintract Frankfurt) of Germany’s Frauen-Bundesliga. Krieger also was part of German Cup championship teams with 1. FFC Frankfurt (Eintract Frankfurt) in 2008 and 2011. She later played for Tyresö FF of Damallsvenskan – Sweden's top-flight league.

Before joining Gotham FC via trade in December 2021, Krieger played four seasons for the Washington Spirit (2013-2016) – including the inaugural NWSL season in 2013 – and five with the Orlando Pride (2017-2021). In her third season as Washington’s captain in 2016, Krieger led the Spirit to the NWSL championship game. In 2017, she started every game, led the Pride to their first playoff berth, and was named to the NWSL Best XI.

Krieger’s outstanding defensive play continued as a starter in four matches in the NWSL Challenge Cup and in 17 regular season matches in 2022 during her first year with Gotham FC. 

The native of Alexandria, Virginia played collegiately from 2003-2006 at Penn State University, where she led the Nittany Lions to four consecutive Big Ten championships, scored 12 goals and added 19 assists in her 129 college games. Among her achievements, Krieger was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and honored as an All-American following her junior and senior seasons after making a voluntarily, yet pivotal, switch from midfielder to defender, where she became a stronghold for college, club, and country through the remainder of her extraordinary career. 

In addition to her on-field success as a star athlete, Krieger has been admired for her tireless commitment off the pitch. She has utilized her spotlight and platform to serve as an advocate for pay equity and in support of the LGBTQ+ community, among several important issues close to her heart.

“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.”

Gotham FC will compile tributes using the hashtag #ThankYouKriegs for a special moment at the end of the season to commemorate her career, talents, and gifts to the game. 

Fans wanting to watch Ali Krieger compete in her final farewell season can PURCHASE TICKETS HERE.