Former NJ/NY Gotham FC star defender Ali Krieger sure knows how to steal a scene. In October, as public rumors swirled around her separation from ex and former teammate Ashlyn Harris, Krieger had the last word — or nine — writing on Instagram, “Preparing for playoffs while in my Beyoncé lemonade era.” On Tuesday, the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) champion dropped into the pop culture ether once more, this time offering up long-awaited details of her divorce in a Self profile, complete with a cover shoot that fashions Krieger as a locker room gladiator.
While Krieger told Self she’s “still processing everything in real time,” the recently retired soccer player says she’s come a long way from the emotional wreckage of Harris’ initial divorce filing in September. Krieger recalled a particularly painful moment along the way: finding out her nearly four-year marriage had come to an end while in the middle of soccer practice last year.
“My entire team came over for a dance party the night the news broke. And I will never forget that moment,” Krieger said. “I found out at training. I was on the field. And I came off the field, in the locker room, and I was obviously devastated.”
Krieger said she quickly canceled a uniform fitting and press conference that had been scheduled for later in the day, as her Gotham teammates “just started walking through the door.” They brought wine and flowers for her, and Krieger credits those friends with getting her through the darker days of the divorce aftermath.
“They didn’t even think twice. They didn’t have to ask; they just showed up,” Krieger recalled. “They just kept coming in — from right after training, after their meetings, through 2 a.m. My kids were there, we were all there.”
There’s no right way to get over a divorce, but having an entire professional soccer team, Megan Rapinoe, and Sue Bird in the “Ali Krieger fan club” certainly doesn’t hurt.