One of the more classic cliches we have in sports is defense wins championships. For the USWNT, defense has never been a problem as some of the world’s greatest defenders in the women’s game have been Americans. This current backline is better than ever, and while we’ve shown much love to most of them, we’ve still got one more woman left to admire. This week’s WCW is Orlando Pride’s captain, Ali Krieger.
Ali Krieger is another unsung heroine on the USWNT who really doesn’t get enough credit for how rock solid she is. Krieger is a fighter and a warrior. She’s been around for a long time with plenty of injuries along the way. She’s highly respected amongst her peers because of her toughness and desire to win.
What’s crazy about Krieger is she wasn’t always a defender. She starred at Penn State for three years before making the switch as a captain her senior year. The fact that she was willing to make a decision like that for her team speaks volumes about her character. Krieger turned down a starring role in the midfield because her team needed her at the back, a type of character you can’t teach.
After leaving Penn State, Krieger split her time between America and Germany for five years where she suited up for both the Washington Spirit and FC Frankfurt. She made 80 appearances combined for both teams throughout that span and even won a Champions League title with Frankfurt. Krieger has been a trailblazer for American women overseas. Back then, she was the only professional women's player playing at home and abroad simultaneously.
One of the more defining moments of Krieger’s career was her comeback after a devastating knee injury in 2012. She was sorely disappointed to miss out on the 2012 Olympics, but she kept herself in great shape and became the oldest first-time Olympian for the USA.
Ali Krieger is someone who simply never gives up. She’s the perfect teammate and one of the best defenders we’ve ever had. Ali Krieger deserves plenty of love for what she’s given to the sport of soccer.