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Retiring star Ali Krieger leaves Gotham FC with winning legacy

Ali Krieger wears the captain's armband during her final Gotham FC home game on Oct. 15. (Ira L. Black/Getty Images)

Ali Krieger leaves Gotham FC and the game of soccer better than she found them.

Gotham FC aimed to send their captain off with an NWSL title, and they accomplished their goal, capping Krieger’s final season with a 2-1 win against OL Reign in the NWSL Championship.

Krieger announced her retirement in March, ahead of the 2023 season. One of the few players who has been a part of the league since its beginning in 2013, the 39-year-old defender has appeared in 180 league matches, including 35 for Gotham.

In her time with the club, Krieger helped to establish a winning legacy. In her last season, she helped engineer a stunning turnaround, as Gotham went from last place in 2022 to title-winners in 2023.

She also has 108 international appearances, having played for the USWNT from 2008 through 2021. She not only is a two-time World Cup champion but also a UEFA Champions League winner, having won in 2008 with Eintracht Frankfurt.

In short, there’s not much in Krieger’s career that she hasn’t accomplished. And through it all, she’s been a great teammate, as the Gotham FC captain’s current teammates can attest.

“[Krieger] has been there for me in times where I don’t really allow people to be there for me,” USWNT and Gotham forward Midge Purce said. “Honestly, that’s the best testament I can give to her. She’s someone I trust to let in and can be there for you when you need her.”

And Krieger is planning to stay connected with the game in retirement, telling The Athletic that she wants to help the NWSL continue to grow.

“I’m very intrigued by the game, and I love talking tactics and analyzing and all the things,” she said. “And stay in connection with the NWSL, and really help them improve the league and get these teams the standards that they really deserve and these players what they really deserve. I think using me as a resource would be really beneficial. So I hope I can stay connected with the NWSL somehow, in some way, to continue to fight outside of the training pitch.”