Gotham’s Ali Krieger: New York City has ‘reenergized us tremendously’

Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris have adopted a baby boy, the couple announced Tuesday. (Jesse Louie/Just Women’s Sports)

Gotham FC stars Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger sat down with Boardroom recently to discuss their move to New York City from Orlando this past offseason.

Since Gotham acquired the married couple from the Pride in a trade in December, Krieger said the fresh start “has re-energized us tremendously.”

“I know as individuals and then as a couple and then obviously as a family, we feel like, here, everything is at your fingertips,” she said. “And it’s electrifying.”

With the Pride, Harris and Krieger only made it as far as the NWSL semifinals in 2017, missing out on the playoffs (and the season as a whole in 2020) every other year. Since joining Gotham FC, they have been vocal about wanting to win their first championship.

The journey began with a 3-0 win over their old team in their regular season opener. While Harris recorded her second clean sheet over the Pride this season, the first coming in a 1-0 victory in the early stages of the Challenge Cup, Krieger was named Player of the Match after making 12 clearances in the game.

“I love the fact that I’m being tested in every aspect of my life, and I’m being challenged, because everyone’s so hungry here,” Harris said. “People want to be successful, and they wanna put the work in, and that’s kind of the way I’ve been ticking my whole life.”

Harris and Krieger recognize that their playing careers are nearing the end. In retirement from soccer, Krieger has ambitions of becoming a sports broadcaster on the men’s side, while Harris wants to continue to be a “huge activist” in the LGBTQ+ community. The goalkeeper said she doesn’t know what that looks like yet, but she knows that she can use her platform to effect change.

“There’s a lot of responsibility building a platform and being a role model,” Harris said. “And I want to take that as far as I can go, and I want to be a voice for people who are still looking to find their own.”

Krieger and Harris filled a big hole on Gotham FC’s roster after longtime women’s soccer icon Carli Lloyd retired at the end of the 2021 NWSL season. Lloyd has since rejoined Gotham as a minority owner.

While “no one can ever compete” with Lloyd’s accomplishments, Harris said, the players view the opportunity as a responsibility on and off the field.

“That is what I personally want to leave on this club: give everything in order to win everything,” Krieger said.

“I think the difference between her and I is how much can I accomplish outside of the field? How can I impact my people and my community?” Harris said. “That’s what I wanna bring here to New York is, you know, I’ll never be able to follow in Carli’s footsteps. It’s impossible. Her career is phenomenal. But how can I show up for this city and this community and create an environment where people come to our games and feel seen and heard and safe?”