Soccer Powerhouse + D.C. Legend Ali Krieger Speaks Candidly
August 7, 2020 @ 10:00am
Ali Krieger is a D.C. legend. The two-time, back-to-back World Cup Champion even has a sports complex named after her in Prince William County, where she grew up. While she currently plays for the Orlando Pride, she previously was a defender for the local Washington Spirit between 2014 and 2016. Krieger has proudly represented the U.S. women’s national team across the globe as one of the best defenders on the planet and is the 38th player in U.S. women’s national team history to reach 100 caps. She recently sat down with one of her best friends, local artist Eric Dolgas (known as E$), for this interview.
Eric Dolgas: Let me get this question out of the way early. Who was your favorite homecoming date?
Ali Krieger: You, duh.
I have to get this in writing. Who was better at soccer: [our childhood friends] Brian, Billy, Richard or Johnny?
It would have to be between…uh, I don’t know.
Oh, this is so good. You’re gonna make somebody’s day and break three hearts.
It would have to be Billy or Brian, I think.
While discussing great soccer players, I think an appropriate follow-up question is: Why won’t they pay ya’ll?
Good question. We deserve all the monies in the world, and you can’t even compare it to the men. It’s just what women deserve.
Yeah. I don’t understand why it’s so difficult.
Why do you think they don’t pay us?
It seems like in America, we reward winners. And you ladies keep winning World Cups. But for some reason, they don’t want to compensate you for the championships. I don’t understand.
Yeah, I don’t get it either.
Who is your favorite female soccer player?
My favorite growing up was always Mia Hamm. I also loved Michelle Akers. She was a center midfielder and had beautiful hair that was wild, and I could always pick her out on the field. She was such a badass in the center midfield and the engine of the team.
You always wanted to be a professional soccer player. Can you pinpoint the moment when you felt like you made it?
When I kept getting called back with Pia [Sundhage], who was my first national team coach. It was the World Cup of 2011, and that was my first real challenge with the team. I was like, “Wow. I have kind of solidified this position. I’m in the starting 11 and starting the World Cup at 25. This is amazing. This is real. This is insane.”
A gold medal or the ability to talk to your dogs?
I love how my dogs don’t talk back, so probably a gold medal.
Do your dogs like you or [your wife and Orlando Pride goalkeeper] Ashlyn [Harris] more?
Me, but I’m sure Ash would say the same. She would say Logan likes me more and Storm likes her.
If you arm wrestled [National Women’s Soccer League and U.S. national team captain] Megan Rapinoe, who would win?
Me! She’s actually really strong. But like, no.
I don’t know. I’m pretty strong.
What about if you arm wrestled Ashlyn?
She would probably beat me. She’s really strong.
I heard you nutmeg people at the grocery store to stay sharp in the offseason. Is that true?
Oh my God. With my mask on, for sure. No!
How fast do you think you can run in miles per hour?
We did sprint testing during the season. Right before the tournament, I got 32 kilometers per hour.
What’s that in American miles?
Actually, I don’t really know. I’m going to have to look that up, but it’s fast. That’s what it is. It’s fast. [Editorial note: It’s almost 20 miles per hour.]
If you’re having a bad day, do you ever just wear your medals around the house?
Oh my God. I should start. That’s such a good idea. That would actually make me feel very accomplished.
If Ben & Jerry’s made an Ali Krieger flavor, what would be in your tub of ice cream?
Probably mint chocolate chip with sprinkles – rainbow sprinkles.
That’s it? Just those two?
I want to put in those cookie dough chunks. So mint chocolate chip, rainbow sprinkles and cookie dough chunks.
Where do you eat when you’re back in the District?
Nando’s. We don’t have them in Orlando.
You don’t have them in Orlando?!
No, and I wanted to write them a letter. So, if you’re reading this, I’m going to need you guys to open up down here.
What food do you get most often on delivery apps?
Mexican cuisine, Thai and then Italian. Those are our faves.
Would you rather play a game of soccer wearing Timberlands or scuba fins?
If I wore scuba fins, I think I would trip on my face so bad – like it would catch the toe. I can’t even wear those in water.
In our friend group, we spend a lot of time talking about Black Lives Matter and how we need to do our part to affect change. What are your thoughts on this?
What really matters right now is that we continue to fight for people who don’t look like us, we dismantle white supremacy, and we continue to fight in our cities and our counties to make sure we bring justice to the Black community. I think that as white people, [we] need to learn how to consistently be anti-racist and not just say that we are not racist – and educate [ourselves]. Look up reputable resources online. Continue to bring friends along. Continue to check in on your family. Hold them accountable. No one is free until the Black community is free. Imagine feeling the way the Black community has felt for over 400 years of fighting to just walk outside and not have to fear for their lives. I think it’s so important that we continue to fight for each other and racial justice and continue to lift each other up to fight for equality and freedom for all. And register yourself to vote. That’s something else I want to shout from the rooftops, because that does actually matter. I think everyone’s vote matters. Get registered. Look up dates for the primaries. Get out there and vote and do your part.
Thanks for this, champ. It was great speaking with you.
Follow Krieger on Instagram and Twitter @alikrieger. Learn more about her at www.alikrieger.com.
Enjoy this piece? Consider becoming a member for access to our premium digital content and to get a monthly print edition delivered to your door. Support local journalism and start your membership today.