Photo: Jose L. Argueta/ISI Photos
BOYDS, Md (Nov 2, 2016) – Washington Spirit’s captain Ali Krieger has been traded to the Orlando Pride in the first major player transaction of the National Women’s Soccer League offseason.
In return, the Spirit swapped Distribution Ranking Order places with the Pride, moving the 2016 NWSL Championship Finalists into second position overall on the coveted list, while the Pride now owns the ninth spot. As a result, the Spirit will only have the Boston Breakers ahead of them in selecting any distribution-eligible individuals whose salaries would be funded by their home Federations.
“On behalf of the entire Washington Spirit organization, past and present, I would like to thank Ali for her extreme commitment and leadership over these four years,” said Spirit Owner Bill Lynch. “She has played a major role in our efforts to build a strong foundation for the future. We wish her well both on and off the field.”
The D.C. area native and fan favorite has spent all four seasons of NWSL existence on her hometown team and just wrapped up her best season yet, falling just seconds shy of winning an NWSL Championship earlier this month. Now 32, the 2015 FIFA World Cup Champion has made 63 regular season and three playoff appearances for Washington.
Krieger’s commitment to the NWSL and Spirit never shone brighter than 2016, when she was the first player to return to her club following the U.S. Women’s National Team’s early exit from the Rio Olympics, flying in to meet up with the team in Houston and helping notch a win that kept the Spirit in the NWSL Shield race and eventually clinched a first ever home playoff match.
Playing mostly out of the right back position, Krieger often proved her versatility by playing midfield and occasionally as a central defender over her NWSL career. Despite the defensive role, she also excelled in attacking on the flanks, and notched four goals while in a Spirit kit, including a goal of the week winner in week two of the most recent season [https://youtu.be/7jd81txm-b0] and a critical playoff goal against the Chicago Red Stars earlier this month.
Prior to joining the Spirit in the inaugural year, Krieger played five years in Germany for 1. FFC Frankfurt, winning the UEFA Champions League in 2008. She played for local club Prince William Soccer, Inc. (PWSI) as a youth, before attending Penn State, earning All-American honors twice, among many other collegiate awards.
Career Spirit Stats
2016:14 starts, 15 appearances, 2 Playoff starts (Olympic Duty), 2 goals
2015:8 starts, 8 appearances (World Cup Duty)
2014:22 starts, 22 appearances, 1 Playoff start, 1 goal
2013:16 starts, 18 appearances, 1 goal