CHICAGO (Nov. 27, 2023) – Two-time Women’s World Cup champion Ali Krieger, who scored one of the most dramatic goals in U.S. history and helped the USA to titles at the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, will be honored for her retirement during a pre-game ceremony prior to the U.S. Women’s National Team’s match against China PR on Dec. 5 in Frisco, Texas. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. CT / 8 p.m. ET and tickets are available for purchase at ussoccer.com/tickets.
Krieger, who announced in March that this would be her last professional season, experienced a final professional game that many athletes only dream about. On Nov. 11 in San Diego, Calif., she captained NJ/NY Gotham FC to its first NWSL title with a 2-1 win over OL Reign. The victory marked a remarkable “worst-to-first” run for Gotham, which finished last in the league in 2022, and a storybook ending for Krieger, who played in her final USWNT match on January 22, 2021.
“The end of my playing career was rewarding and emotional, but through everything, I just want to express my gratitude for everyone who has been on this journey with me,” said Krieger. “Playing for the National Team was a very special part of my career, and those experiences helped shape me as a professional. I’m honored that I get to say goodbye to the Women’s National Team and our amazing fans one last time and watch all the talented players who are continuing to carry the torch for this program. I’m super excited about my future off the field and the future of this game on the field in the NWSL and with the National Team.”
Krieger, 39, played 108 times for the USWNT and was a member of the FIFA Women’s World Cup team in 2011, 2015, and 2019. She also played in the 2016 Olympics and likely would have been a part of the 2012 Olympic squad if not for a serious knee injury. She scored one goal for the USWNT, that coming in 2013 at the Algarve Cup in Portugal against China PR. She played her final match for the USWNT in January of 2021 against Colombia.
At the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, she scored the game-winning penalty kick in the epic quarterfinal shootout victory over Brazil, a game in which Abby Wambach famously sent the match to PKs with a last-gasp equalizer off an assist from Megan Rapinoe. Krieger, who played every minute of that tournament, helped the USA advance to the title game in Germany, a country where she kick-started her professional career and became the first American (along with FFC Frankfurt teammate Gina Lewandowski) to win the UEFA Women’s Champions League, a feat they accomplished in 2008.
In 2015, she played all but 10 minutes of the Women’s World Cup in Canada, contributing in a big way to one of the greatest defensive performances in World Cup history when the U.S. recorded five consecutive shutouts on the way to its third Women’s World Cup title.
She was a reserve on the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship team but came off the bench in the World Cup Final vs. Netherlands at halftime in place of an injured Kelley O’Hara and played a key role in helping the USA secure its fourth star.
Krieger was one of the first American women to go to Europe to play for a top club, and spent six years in Germany with FFC Frankfurt, one the most successful teams in the world at that time. She also played in Tyresö FF in Sweden's First Division.
Before joining NJ/NY 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). Krieger played in 200 NWSL games across all competitions, 176 during regular season, seven in the playoffs, 13 in the Challenge Cup and four in the fall series. She finishes her career fourth all-time in regular season minutes and is the oldest player ever to win her first NWSL championship.
A native of Alexandria, Virginia, Krieger played 12 years of club soccer with the Prince William Sparklers before playing collegiately from 2003-2006 at Penn State University. 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 college 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 switch from midfielder to defender, where she became a stalwart contributor for her college, club and country through the remainder of her extraordinary career.
In addition to her on-field success, 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.