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Veteran defender Ali Krieger called up as USWNT searches for right back depth

Veteran Orlando Pride defender Ali Krieger has been called up to the U.S. women's national team for the first time since 2017. (Credit: Jeremy Reper/ISI Photos)

Veteran U.S. women’s national team and Orlando Pride defender Ali Krieger is one of three Pride players called into USWNT camp ahead of friendlies against Australia on April 4 and Belgium on April 7.

The United States women’s national team released its roster 24-player roster on Thursday. Star forward Alex Morgan and veteran goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris were also called into camp, which takes place in Santa Barbara, Calif.  

Krieger, 34, was part of the 2015 World Cup championship squad for the United States and has been capped 98 times for the U.S women’s national team. She last played for the U.S. against Russia in April 2017. 

USWNT coach Jill Ellis said Krieger has the potential to add depth at right back for the team. Typical right back Kelley O’Hara was left off the roster due to an ankle issue — she had surgery in October to remove loose bodies in her right ankle. 

“I spoke with Ali and she’s excited to come into camp and help this team in any way she can,” Ellis said in a news release. “Opportunities, however they transpire, are exactly that, and Ali has been a great pro and will no doubt lean on her experience and strengths when she comes back into this environment. Recently, she has been training with her club in the outside back position and with the potential to add depth on the right side, it was good timing to bring Ali into this camp to join the other six defenders.”

Krieger has more more than 100 NWSL appearances and entered this season saying she feels like she’s 25 years old. 

“I feel like I’m 25,” Krieger said at the start of preseason training for the Pride. “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.”

The Australia friendly is at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. The friendly against Belgium will be held at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles. 

Here’s the full roster (Caps/Goals):

GOALKEEPERS (3): Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 1/0), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 20/0), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 41/0)

DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 35/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 17/1), Crystal Dunn (NC Courage; 80/24), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride; 98/1), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 153/0), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 27/0), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 30/0

MIDFIELDERS (7): Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 77/18), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 64/7), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 23/6), Allie Long (Reign FC; 40/6), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 45/8), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 11/0), McCall Zerboni (NC Courage; 8/0)

FORWARDS (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 146/27), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 269/105), Jessica McDonald (NC Courage; 6/1), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 158/99), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 111/47), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 48/13), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC; 149/43)

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