Ali Krieger was born in Alexandria, Virginia July 28, 1984 and grew up in Dumfries, Virginia. Raised in a family where both parents, Debbie and Ken, were Physical Education instructors and coaches in the school system, Ali and her brother Kyle naturally gravitated towards many sports. But Ali grew to love playing soccer the most.
Youth and High School
Yes, you read that correctly. Our team name was Sparklers, and we were awesome! – Ali
During her 12 years as a Sparkler, Ali was coached by her father and played with eight of her teammates all 12 years. She credits her father for molding her at young age into the player she is today, and she’s very grateful that he was her first coach.
During her freshman year of high school, Ali attended C.D. Hylton High School before transferring to the newly-opened Forest Park High School in Woodbridge, Virginia in 2001. She was captain of the Forest Park Varsity soccer team for three years and fortunate enough to be part of the team’s first undefeated regular season. During Ali’s senior year, she was voted Gatorade Player year for the state of Virginia.
After graduating from Forrest Park, Ali was accepted to The Pennsylvania State University. Ali played at Penn State from 2003-06 during which time the Nittany Lions won four consecutive Big Ten championships and were in the running for a national championship each year. Ali broke her leg two days before the opening of the NCAA playoffs during her junior season in November of 2005, but came back stronger than ever.
A two-time All-American, Ali started 87 matches, scoring 11 goals with 19 assists. Ali was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2003 and received All-American honors her Junior and Senior years. During her last year at Penn State that the team needs were such that as captain, Ali volunteered to switch from midfielder to defender. Having played center midfield for years, little did she know that switch would be permanent.
Frauen-Bundesliga – 1. FFC Frankfurt: 2008-11
After graduation, Ali decided to pursue her dream of playing for the United States and representing our country at the highest level. Despite her college success, she knew that she needed to improve as a player and continue to get better in order to play at the highest level. Therefore, in the summer of 2007, Ali moved to Frankfurt, Germany, to play with 1. FFC Frankfurt, one of the top club teams in the world. It was quite an experience not knowing any German and moving to a foreign land. Ali quickly learned that she needed to develop thick skin in order to survive the German culture and to be able to live in a new country on her own.
Even though the adjustment wasn’t always easy, I embraced the new challenge completely. I experienced some of the most rewarding years of my life. Germany will always be a second home to me. – Ali
Luckily, Ali earned a starting spot and was able to elevate her game while helping 1.FFC Frankfurt win the ‘Treble’ (Bundesliga Champions, German Cup Champions and UEFA Cup Champions) during her first season in 2008. During this time, she made her first appearance with the US Women’s National Team in the Four Nations Cup in China.
In September 2008, Ali was named one of Women’s Professional Soccer’s initial twenty-one allocated players from the US Women’s National Team, and assigned to her hometown team the Washington Freedom. However, she was still under contract with 1. FFC Frankfurt and couldn’t join the team until later that June. At the beginning of the 2008/2009 Bundesliga season, Ali injured her foot, which severely limited her action. When her season in Germany ended, Frankfurt agreed to let Ali go on loan to the Washington Freedom so she could regain match fitness for the following Bundesliga season. Ali was happy that as the season progressed, the team secured a playoff position in the WPS League Playoffs.
Ali returned to Germany in late August 2009 and moved back into the starting lineup with Frankfurt. While she loved playing in Germany, becoming fluent in the language, living on her own and playing with some of the best players in the world at the highest levels, her goal of representing the United States never wavered. In February 2010, Frankfurt extended Ali’s contract for an additional year through June 2011 and provided her the choice of an option year through 2012.
United States Women’s National Team 2008-11
After her first senior national team call-up in January 2008, Ali made the 18-player U.S. roster to play in the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament in Cancun, Mexico in October. After the U.S. qualified for the 2011 World Cup, Ali started in all four matches in March 2011 to help the U.S. National Team win the Algarve Cup.
During this period, 1. FFC Frankfurt underwent many team and coaching changes, and Ali decided in March of 2011 that it was time to come home and concentrate on earning a spot on the U.S. National Team in preparation for the World Cup. Her last match for Frankfurt was against bitter rival and defending champion 1.FFC Turbine Potsdam, and her team ended up winning the German Cup 2-0 (DFB Pokal).
Ali was named to the 2011 U.S. Women’s National Team that would compete in the 2011 Women’s World Cup. While the tournament ended with a tough loss in the final against Japan, the 2011 World Cup was a special experience for Ali, having a chance to play in her second home, Germany. The quarterfinal against Brazil will remain a career highlight, from teammate Abby Wambach’s improbable header a man down to her own opportunity to score the fifth and decisive penalty kick to win the match.
I will always remember the match against Brazil in the quarterfinals where we played down a man for 54 minutes, including two overtimes, along with Abby’s amazing goal in extra time. Playing against one of the best players in the world, Marta, short-handed was both a thrill and a battle. – Ali
Ali played every minute of the tournament and was named to Fox Soccer’s Best 11 as the best right back. But those individual honors but did not remove the sting of losing the final.
2012-13: Injury and Determination
After a few weeks of appearances and travel, Ali mulled over her soccer future. Knowing how well the competition in Germany had prepared her for the National Team, she decided to return to Frankfurt to play again and signed a two-year deal through May 2013.
Ali was named to the roster of the U.S. National Team for the 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying in January. However, just 20 minutes into the first match against the Dominican Republic, she suffered the third major injury of her career. Ali tore her ACL and MCL with a meniscus tear in her right knee. It was devastating in so many ways especially occurring during the Olympic year.
After the surgery, Ali rehabbed three weeks in Reston, VA. and then returned to Germany to immerse herself in an intensive rehabilitation program and surrounding herself with support and motivation from her teammates and coaches. Three months out of surgery, Ali was jogging, training and kicking a soccer ball again. The feeling she had when she was able to jog for the first time at the end of April was indescribable.
I didn’t stop smiling for three days straight! If it weren’t for my teammates, family and fans on that day and throughout my recovery, with constant and consistent support and love, I can guarantee I would have never made it back to the pitch. – Ali
Based on how quickly she was recovering, Ali had high hopes to be named to the Olympic roster. However, the roster was named in late-May, prior to her full recovery. That summer, Ali proudly watched her teammates win a Gold Medal in London. She was ecstatic to be able to attend the Olympic Final against Japan and watch it Live! No matter how bittersweet it was, it is a cherished memory that she will never forget.
During the fall, just seven months out from surgery, Ali was once again competing for FFC Frankfurt in the Frauen-Bundesliga. But the combination of some club changes and her own struggles of coming back from injury, she was no longer happy in Germany. In December 2012, the club agreed to release Ali from her contract and she returned to her hometown, allowing her to concentrate on her full recovery, the newly formed National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), and most importantly, her return to the U.S. National Team.
2013-14: National Women’s Soccer League Launch and National Team Return
After a full recovery from the knee injury, she was again named to the national team in early 2013 and went about working to re-gain a consistent starting position by year-end. She was part of the United States team that placed first in the 2013 Algarve Cup.
In the January 2013 initial NWLS allocation of players, Ali was assigned to the Washington Spirit. Once again, she was thrilled to be playing close to her hometown.
The team had a challenging first season. But finished out the season on a good note, going unbeaten and earning seven points in the last three matches.
Her goal was to continue to get better, continue to train at a high level in the off-season, live in a new city, and experience a new culture for three months. Ali had the opportunity to play in the UEFA Women’s Champions League again, along with with four fellow National Team players.
Overall, it was a beautiful experience playing football and living in Stockholm, Sweden. – Ali
Ali returned home after her three-month loan period in November 2013, and looked forward to the start of the 2014 NWSL season for the Washington Spirit. Ali also received the Washington Post Distinguished All-Met Award in 2013.
A new league, playing back at home
Serving as Washington Spirit team captain in 2014, Ali helped lead the Spirit to a finish the season in the top four and qualify for the playoffs for the first time. The season ended with a loss in their semifinal against a talented Seattle Reign club.
I was happy we finished the 2014 Season in the top four teams of the league. Unfortunately we lost to Seattle in a tough fought semifinal, but we made another step forward from previous seasons in working towards becoming one of the best clubs in the NWSL. – Ali
With the National Team, the past couple of years have been tough experiencing a lot of movement with coaching staff and management, but Ali has been resilient and consistently stayed focused on the task at hand, which is the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada. The team qualified for the World Cup in October 2014, becoming CONCACAF Champions.
Champions of the world
To start 2015, the United States came in first at the 2015 Algarve Cup, a rewarding achievement after daily work by the team in mastering preparation for the Women’s World Cup.
June brought the start of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. Ali was part of the defense that held opponents scoreless for a record 539 minutes and helped lead the United States to become 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions. She started in all seven matches for the United States in the 2015 tournament.
Before the final, we were confident that we were going to win and nothing was going to get in our way of achieving our goal. We refused anything other than success.It was incredible to stand on that stage with my teammates, holding the WC Trophy, (the ultimate prize in our sport) and watch the gold confetti fall from the sky and feel like all of our sacrifices and hard work were finally rewarded. – Ali
The team experienced a whirlwind of appearances including a ticker tape parade in New York City, appearing on stage with Taylor Swift, and multiple events in Los Angeles highlighted by the ESPY Awards ceremony.
The Roller Coaster of 2016
After a memorable 2015, Ali started 2016 with a lifetime dream in her sights: playing in the Olympic Games. The U.S. Women’s National Team hopes to accomplish a women’s soccer first by winning World Cup and Olympic gold in back-to-back years.
Ali did fulfill her lifelong dream of playing in the Olympics in Rio 2016. Unfortunately, the US had it’s trip end earlier than expected, leaving Ali more determined than ever to captain the Spirt to the playoffs.
She took just a few days off after Rio and was the first US player to rejoin her NWSL team. Ali led the 2016 Washington Spirit to the title game, falling just short of the ultimate goal after falling in penalty kicks.
A New Journey Begins
After four seasons playing in her hometown, Ali was traded to the Orlando Pride after the season concluded. She will once again play for former US Women’s National Team Coach Tom Sermanni.
She will have the opportunity to play Orlando’s new soccer stadium, starting with the April 22 home opener.
Ali continues her quest for an NWSL Championship with a new squad, but the same laser focus.
Accolades and Awards
- Captain, Forest Park High School (2003 & 2003)
- First team All-Met (2002, 2003)
- All-Met Player of the Year (2003)
- Gatorade Virginia Girls Soccer Player of the Year (2003)
NCAA: Penn State University
- Big Team Freshman of the Year (2003)
- Co-Captain (2005)
- NSCAA All-American (2005, 2006)
- Captain (2006)
- NCAA Co-Defensive Player of the Year (2006)
- Herman Trophy Award Semifinalist (2006)
- German Cup Champion – FFC Frankfurt (2008, 2011)
- UEFA Champions League Champion – FFC Frankfurt (2008)
- Fussball-Bundesliga Champion – FFC Frankfurt (2008)
- 2011 Women’s World Cup Finalist – U.S. Women’s National Team
- Fox Soccer’s Best Eleven of FIFA Women’s World Cup (2011)
- Washington Post Distinguished All-Met Award (2013)
- Algarve Cup Champions – U.S. Women’s National Team (2013)
- NWSL Second XI (2013)
- Captain, Washington Spirit (2014, 2015, 2016)
- NWSL Fourth Place – Washington Spirit (2014)
- NWSL Best XI First Team (2014)
- CONCACAF Champions – U.S. Women’s National Team (2014)
- Algarve Cup Champions – U.S. Women’s National Team (2015)
- 2015 Women’s World Cup Champions – U.S. Women’s National Team
- 2016 NWSL Washington Spirit Championship Runner-up
- 2016 NWSL Second XI