"I met the most broken version of myself this year, but now—the strongest," Krieger reflected in a new interview
Soccer star Ali Krieger reflected on her divorce from Ashlyn Harris for the cover of SELF magazine
Krieger revealed that she was at practice when she learned Harris had filed for divorce
The NWSL champion credits her family and friends for their support at the time
As SELF magazine's latest cover star, the newly retired soccer champion, 39, revealed that she first learned that Harris, 38, filed for divorce while she was on the field.
Krieger said she will "never forget that moment" recounting, “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.”
“My entire team came over for a dance party the night the news broke," Krieger shared. She told SELF that she canceled a press conference and a clothes fitting that day to process the news.
Harris filed for divorce on Sept. 19 with the Seminole County Clerk in Florida, the news of which broke a month later. The former USWNT players — who share two kids: daughter Sloane, 2½, and son Ocean, 14 months — had been married for nearly four years after tying the knot on Dec. 28, 2019.
Much of Krieger's interview with the magazine revealed the strong relationships she has with her NY Gotham teammates, who she credits for being there for her when she needed them.
Krieger said her teammates "just started walking through the door,” after the news of her divorce broke. “All of them. At different times. Until 2 in the morning, we were there, just hanging out, dancing, putting music on YouTube."
Friends brought "wine and flowers, and just...themselves," Krieger recalled. "They didn’t even think twice. They didn’t have to ask; they just showed up. They just kept coming in—from right after training, after their meetings, through 2 a.m. My kids were there, we were all there."
Krieger reflected, “Through these past five months, my friends have shown up in ways that I will cherish and remember forever. They are my true people. It’s been so rewarding to see that, because you don’t know how much of an impact you have, even on your personal friends, and when they show up for you, you’re just like, 'Whoa — thank God.' ”
Her brother, Kyle, and best friend, Liz Mumley were other crucial support systems for the soccer star. Krieger said Mumley immediately traveled to New York from Virginia Beach to stay with her for a week and a half, and the two checked on her "every day" as she processed the end of her marriage.
In a social media tribute to the soccer star after she led the Gotham to the 2023 NWSL Championship in December, Kyle, who is just 13 months older than his sister, said he's "constantly in awe" of Krieger's "perseverance, class and strength."
His praise for Krieger continued, "Truly a surreal amount of focus to sustain your mental/physical health with 2 little ones, dad in hospice, and while playing and training in your last season."
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Krieger said she "never thought" she would "be in this position" regarding her divorce, but told SELF she feels like she's "in a healthy space" after committing to therapy and nurturing her mental wellbeing.
“I’m in this transitioning phase, so I’m unarmoring myself,” she told the magazine. “I have been bare, basically, for the past five months. Walking through it — not around it, over it, under it — literally walking through, feeling all the things, and learning and gaining those tools to be the woman that I’ve always known was there."
The mother-of-two said she's "not there yet" in terms of feeling ready to explore a new relationship, but she thinks 2024 will be about "continuing to put myself first, and work on myself so that I am a complete Ali — so that I don’t carry all of this past trauma into that next relationship."
And while she's “still processing everything in real time," Krieger feels equipped to thrive in her next chapter. "Obviously, I met the most broken version of myself this year, but now — the strongest. I feel like I can get through anything, and I am so ready for this next phase. I feel like the universe has sent me a gift, and I’m ready to take it.”
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