USWNT defender Ali Krieger released a statement about her trade from the Washington Spirit to the Orlando Pride, calling the trade a “surprise” and expressed her gratitude towards Spirit fans, volunteers, coaches, and teammates. Yesterday, the Spirit announced the club traded Krieger to the Pride in exchange for Orlando’s spot on the Allocation Ranking Order. The trade appears very heavily in favor of the Pride, who received a U.S. women’s national team defender without losing a player or even a draft pick.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have dreamed of playing professional football for my city and my hometown in front of my friends and family, and possibly retiring in Washington, D.C. I have always wanted to grow the game and ultimately bring a Championship to the city that I call home. Despite falling short of that goal, I gave this city and club everything and I have no regrets. Although the Washington Spirit’s decision to trade me comes as a surprise, I remain very grateful for the opportunity to play professional soccer in my hometown for the past four years, and I want to thank the Washington Spirit organization for that chance. I do think change can be a good thing, especially at this point in my football career. Being too consistent and comfortable in a certain space can be detrimental to personal growth so I must embrace this next opportunity. To all of my wonderful fans, I truly appreciate your continuous love and support in following my football career. Specifically to the Washington Spirit fans, especially the Spirit Squadron — Thank You! I will always hold a special place in my heart for each of you and please keep crushing the game! I sincerely appreciate the efforts of the Washington Spirit staff and volunteers who put in countless hours to support the team. Thank you to each of my coaches during my time in Washington. I wish you all the best and carry your lessons with me. Most importantly, I want to thank all of the teammates I had during my time here. You are all incredible women and deserve nothing but the best. Thank you to this year’s team for an unforgettable winning season and an undeniable team chemistry that I will cherish forever. I will miss you all tremendously, and I respect each and every one of you! #BOAB #AnklesWoke Finally, to the DMV, this is not the end. I will stay very engaged in the DC soccer community to continue to grow the beautiful game in my hometown. I’m very excited for my new journey! Ali
Krieger thanked the Spirit Squadron as well as the Spirit’s players, staff, and coaches in a message posted on her Instagram and website. She expressed her commitment to “stay very engaged in the DC soccer community” in addition to talking about embracing her new opportunities in Orlando.
The trade comes during a period of widespread reports of players’ discontent with the Spirit organization. This September, Spirit owner Bill Lynch prompted criticism from players after he denied Megan Rapinoe the opportunity to kneel during the national anthem. Steven Goff of The Washington Post reported that another USWNT star, Crystal Dunn, is seeking to leave the Spirit, possibly for a team in the French league.