Ashlyn Harris greets Gotham FC fans after a game in April. (Ira L. Black - Corbis/Getty Images)

Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger, Gotham FC teammates and soccer superstar couple, have been very open about their relationship in recent years. But, as they tell co-hosts Sam Mewis and Lynn Williams on the latest episode of Snacks, that wasn’t always the case.

“I think what’s so moving and powerful with Ali and I is we don’t overthink it — we just are genuinely us,” Harris says. “Every day we show up, and for so long, we had to hide our love and our relationship and who we were and how we expressed ourselves because of the environment and because of our job.

“I feel like when we were just able to just be free and open and honest and say, ‘Hey, this is who we are, take it or f–king leave it.'”

Harris and Krieger first went public with their relationship in March 2019, months before being a part of the U.S. women’s national team’s World Cup-winning campaign. They wed in late December of the same year. Remembering the time when they felt they couldn’t show their love publicly, they relish the opportunity to be their authentic selves now.

“For so long, there was an elephant in the room, and it was like, this is so dumb. We are wasting so much of our life living a lie,” Harris says. “Like, what are we even doing?”

The way Harris and Krieger’s relationship has evolved since then has resonated with fans, as they are two of the most popular athletes in women’s soccer.

“Even at games, you talk to supporters and fans, and they’re like, ‘Thank you for sharing your story,’” Krieger says, adding that building relationships with fans and allowing them to see her as more than a soccer player has been vital for her.

“That is something I don’t take for granted, is all the people that show up every single week to support us, and I make sure they come back, and it’s just meeting them where they are at in life,” Harris says.

Listen to the latest Snacks podcast for more from Krieger and Harris’ conversation with Mewis and Williams.