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World Cup champion Ali Krieger plans to retire after 2023 NWSL season

Ali Krieger will play one last season for Gotham FC before hanging up her boots. (Andy Mead/USA TODAY Sports)

Ali Krieger plans to hang up her boots in 2023 after a long and illustrious career, one which has included two World Cup championships with the U.S. women’s national team and 10 years in the NWSL.

Still, the 38-year-old has energy enough for one last ride with Gotham FC.

Her first season with the New Jersey-based club did not go the way she or the club would have preferred. Gotham finished in last place in the league standings by a decent margin, with four wins and one tie measured against 17 losses and a league-low 16 goals.

“It was terrible,” she told the New York Times. “I don’t think I’d ever been on a team in last place.”

In her final professional season, and the 10th season of the NWSL’s existence, Krieger wants to help the club and new coach Juan Carlos Amorós engineer a turnaround.

“I really value club soccer, and the NWSL Championship is the only thing I haven’t won,” she told Glamour. “I’m just throwing it out there into the universe and making that a goal for me and the team this year.”

Krieger also will have time to reflect on the changes to women’s soccer since she first embarked on her professional career 18 years ago — changes she helped create, as an original member of the NWSL in 2013 and as a member of the USWNT during that team’s historic push for equal pay.

“We’re not settling anymore for just being grateful,” she told Glamour. “For me and my generation of players, we’ve had to fight for every little thing in order to have a voice. We fought for something bigger than ourselves.”

And when her playing career is done at the end of the season, she will have more time to spend with her wife Ashlyn Harris, who retired from Gotham FC after the 2022 season, and their two children.

Harris is working as the creative director for the club in the first season after her retirement, and Krieger wants to find a way to stay involved in the game as well. But she also wants to enjoy her retirement.

“I also want to just take time for myself,” she told Glamour. “I haven’t stopped since I began playing soccer and haven’t focused on sitting and really reflecting on my career. I think I’m going to just take some time with my family and just enjoy a little bit after this is done.