Ali Krieger: ‘My family has come second for years’

aliLast month, Ali Krieger skipped the National Women’s Soccer League playoff game that could have propelled her team, the Washington Spirit, into the championship match.

The reason: Her dad was getting married on the same day.

In this letter to fans, published on her website, she explains how she arrived at “one of the most difficult choices I’ve had to make in my life.”

It came down to a matter of priorities.

“My family has come second to football for many, many years,” Krieger writes, “and I feel that in my heart it was time I put them first.”

Had she missed her dad’s wedding, she adds, “I would regret not being there for the rest of my life.”

In the game that she missed, the Seattle Reign beat the Spirit 3-0, with all three goals coming in the final 20 minutes. Most people would say the better team won.

Krieger is a superb defender, but it’s unlikely that her presence would have done much to energize Washington’s underwhelming attack. Even through the first 70 minutes, while the game remained a scoreless stalemate, the Reign dictated the pace and run of play. If not for a handful of heroic saves by Ashlyn Harris, Washington’s goalkeeper, Seattle’s margin of victory would have been much larger.

The Reign beat the Spirit in three of four meetings this season, and the playoff game was in Seattle, where the Reign didn’t lose all year.

 

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