Orlando player Ali Krieger heads the ball during the Seattle Reign at Orlando Pride NWSL game at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday, April 28, 2018. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel)
SANFORD, Fla. — Veteran Orlando Pride defender Ali Krieger doesn’t feel like she’s slowed down.
She suffered a knee injury last season that caused her to miss games for the first time in her Pride career. On the first day of preseason training for the 2019 season, Krieger said she’s ready for the new year.
“I feel like I’m 25,” Krieger said. “I feel good. I’ve been training my ass off this whole offseason and really preparing for this day. I know this year’s going to be really good and really tough for us, so I wanted to come in and be prepared and be fully fit and be a good example and set a good example for the young ones coming in. It’s really important that I’m on the top of my game. To really set the tone for the rest of the team.”
Krieger, 34, has more than 100 NWSL appearances.
She’s already caught the attention of new Pride head coach Marc Skinner.
“Can I just say that although her age might suggest she’s a ‘veteran,’ her body, the way she runs — she’s 25, mate,” Skinner said. “I’m telling you. She’s unbelievable.
“The power, the energy, supporting the younger girls … she’s a magnificent person. I knew that when I came into the club. Don’t talk about her age. She’s not a veteran at all. She’s definitely, definitely young enough to play forever.”
Krieger said her relationship with Skinner will be important this season.
“It’s going the be huge,” she said. “I want to be an extension of the coaching staff on the field, I hope. If I get that opportunity. I’m ready to take that on and put the team on my back and push through this season.”