Christen Press was as excited as the rest of the soccer community to watch Ali Krieger take home the 2023 NWSL Championship with Gotham FC.
On the latest episode of “The RE-CAP Show,” Press described herself as “on the edge of our seats” for the entirety of Saturday’s final. And one of the best parts of the match was getting to see how loved Krieger is. Press and Krieger played together on the 2015 and 2019 World Cup squads for the U.S. women’s national team.
“I think that it is warm and fuzzies to the max. This player, our friend, is so loved,” Press told co-host Tobin Heath. “She is adored by her teammates, by the teams that she plays on, by the entire community. … The Ali Krieger supporter group was massive and it was loud. We had Ali Krieger chants reverberating through the stadium the entire time, and that must be so cool to feel that in your final match.”
Part of what made it so satisfying to watch Krieger win the championship, Press said, is how Krieger has valued the NWSL from the very start of the league. While some treated it as a “stepping stone” for the national team, Krieger always has valued the NWSL on its own merit.
“I have never experienced someone who is able to put so much effort and energy and love into every single day of what she does,” Press continued. “She plays every single game like it’s the World Cup. She plays five-on-five in training like it’s a World Cup final.
“I’m like, aren’t you exhausted carrying this much for this long? I do not know how you do it. I do not understand how you could care that much all the freaking time.”
She also attributed part of Gotham’s energy and culture to what Krieger has established since joining the club last year.
“You’ve got a player that has done what she needs to do in her career,” she said. “And instead of being like, this is my victory tour, she says at the beginning of the season, ‘I want to win this trophy, I have not won this trophy.’ She frickin’ manifested that.”