Ali Krieger reportedly has been named to the U.S. Women’s World Cup roster.
Krieger, 34, is expected to be part of the 2019 World Cup roster to be announced by coach Jill Ellis Thursday at 1 p.m., according to Yahoo! Sports’ Doug McIntyre.
The U.S. players will train together ahead of a series of May friendlies that will prepare the team before the international competition in France, which begins June 7.
The USWNT and Orlando Pride veteran spent nearly two years away from the national team before getting called up in March ahead of friendlies against Australia and Belgium. She played a full 90 minutes in the match against Belgium, earning her 99th cap.
The U.S. women’s national team’s final three tune-ups before the World Cup are against South Africa on May 12, New Zealand on May 16 and Mexico on May 26. The USWNT opens its 2019 World Cup against on June 11 against Thailand.
The call-up is a stark reversal of fortune for Krieger, who, before April’s match against Belgium, last played for the U.S. women’s national team in April 2017.
“I knew the door was always cracked,” Krieger said in March after she was called up. “You never know what opportunity will come across or come to your doorstep. I always wanted to stay ready and be prepared just in case I did receive that phone call.
“I just needed a toe into the door. Now I feel like I can take this opportunity and give it my best and obviously see what happens.”
Krieger’s return to the women’s national team adds right back depth after Kelley O’Hara, the team’s typical first-choice right back, suffered a setback while recovering from offseason ankle surgery. That setback opened the door for Krieger to return for the April friendlies. She’s a veteran of two World Cups (2011 and 2015) and was a starter on the squad that won the title in 2015. She played in all seven matches for the U.S. in that World Cup and only missed 10 minutes of action.
“I’m just so excited for the opportunity to be back with the team,” Krieger said. “I would run through a brick wall for this team and the coaching staff. So it’s just an honor to have that opportunity again. I don’t try and think too far ahead.
“What I always do, and what I always have done, is be professional, give it my best. I’m good at what I do. I will, obviously, bring some kind of leadership. A new mentality, maybe. You know, help with the younger players as a veteran as much as I can. That’s what I want to bring.”
Before the start of the 2019 NWSL, Krieger said she felt 25 years old and added she spent the offseason preparing for her third league campaign with the Pride. New coach Marc Skinner praised Krieger’s fitness and work ethic and called her a “magnificent” person.
Krieger showed off her versatility last season during an up-and-down year for the Pride. Former coach Tom Sermanni frequently rotated where players were on the pitch, which led to Krieger lining up at both outside back and centerback for the team. She battled a knee injury last season that caused her to miss time for the first time in her Pride career after she played every minute of the 2017 season.