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Ahead of its second National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) season, Orlando Pride has bolstered its backline by acquiring 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion defender Ali Krieger (pictured above) via trade with the Washington Spirit. In return, Washington takes ownership of the Pride’s second-overall spot in the Distribution Ranking Order, while Orlando swaps to Washington’s ninth spot on the list.
“We’re ecstatic to get Ali Krieger to the Club; she’s one of the best players in the country. She’s extremely experienced, a great leader, great personality and a great signing for us leading into 2017,” said Orlando Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni. “I think she’ll help both on the field and off the field. She’s a real, thorough professional so her preparation will start to influence and help our younger players. Her focus and her quality in her training and play will be a huge asset to the team.”
Krieger will join the Pride for the team’s second season, this time in the Club’s brand new, 25,500-seat stadium in downtown Orlando. Season ticket packages for all home matches are currently on sale and can be purchased by calling (855) ORL-CITY or by visiting orlando-pride.com/tickets.
Krieger, 32, comes to Orlando after leading the Spirit to the 2016 NWSL Final in a historic season for the Maryland-based side. After posting a team-record 39 points in 2016, the Spirit finished second in the league, ultimately falling to Western New York in the championship match.
A graduate of Penn State University, Krieger was allocated to Washington for the inaugural NWSL season in 2013 and went on to score four goals in 66 appearances in her four years with the club. She was named to the NWSL Best XI in 2014 and the Second XI in both 2013 and 2016.
Prior to joining the Spirit, Krieger had a standout career in Germany, playing for 1. FFC Frankfurt in 2007-08 and from 2009-12. In 2008, Krieger led Frankfurt, which plays in the Frauen-Bundesliga, the highest tier of women’s soccer in Germany, to the Bundesliga Championship and UEFA Champions League title. Following that season, the defender was allocated to the Washington Freedom of the newly-formed Women’s Professional Soccer, where she played one season stateside but ultimately returned to Germany for three more years with Frankfurt.
Following the 2013 NWSL season, Krieger spent a short time in Sweden, making 11 appearances for Tyresö – one of the country’s standout clubs – before returning to Washington for the next NWSL campaign.
On the international level, Krieger has been a stalwart of the U.S. Women’s National Team backline, helping to post one of the best defensive performances in Women’s World Cup history. En route to the 2015 Women’s World Cup trophy, Krieger and the American defense held opponents to just three goals with five total shutouts, going 540 minutes without allowing a goal.
Krieger made her U.S. WNT debut on Jan. 16, 2008, during the Four Nations Tournament versus Canada. Since then, the 2016 Olympian has totaled 95 caps for her country with her first and only international goal coming on March 8, 2013, against China.
Krieger played for the Nittany Lions from 2003-06, where she was a two-time All-American, a First-Team NSCAA All-American and led her team to the Big Ten title each of her four seasons. After being named the 2003 Virginia Gatorade Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year in her senior year of high school, Krieger became the Big Ten Freshman of the Year after her first season in State College. By the end of her collegiate career, Krieger would become Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Year and accumulate 87 appearances, 11 goals and 19 assists.
Born: July 28, 1984 in Alexandria, Va.
Hometown: Dumfries, Va.
College: Penn State University
Acquired: via trade with Washington Spirit on November 2, 2016