NJ/NY Gotham FC defender Ali Krieger has had a Cinderella story year. She and the rest of the Bats won the NWSL Championship after struggling toward the end of the regular season. A sixth-place finish did not matter, for they won all three playoff matches.
For Krieger, the win meant everything. She was retiring at the end of the year and had never won the coveted NWSL trophy. As such, finishing her career with the ultimate prize was a great way to close her footballing chapter.
The USWNT is finally honoring Ali Krieger
At the same time, she never had a chance to close out the USWNT chapter of her career. Despite her legendary status, the Gotham FC star never got a send-off like Carli Lloyd, Julie Ertz, and Megan Rapinoe. Instead, Krieger was not called up anymore, subsequently leading to her retirement from the national team.
Now, after a few years since her final national cap, the USWNT will finally honor Krieger in their December 5 friendly against China. This was a long time coming, and it is better to be late with their celebration rather than never celebrating the Gotham, NWSL, and USWNT star.
Krieger earned 108 caps with the national team. She was a part of the 2015 and 2019 World Cup winning squads, with the 2015 World Cup being one of her best series of performances for the USWNT. She was also a member of the 2011 team.
The fact she could not retire from the USWNT did not sit well with many fans. It was not like she was someone who received call-ups sporadically over her career. She is one of the best American defenders to have ever played the beautiful game.
Thankfully, Krieger will get her celebration. It is fitting after she helped lead NJ/NY Gotham FC to a Championship win in her final professional season. Ideally, the USWNT will honor her the same way they have honored recent retiring players.