Saturday’s NWSL Championship victory was a dream ending to Ali Krieger’s illustrious career. The cherry on top was a surprise from an old friend.
Gotham FC’s celebrations after defeating OL Reign 2-1 were full of joyous tears as the team that finished dead-last in 2022 rebounded in the greatest way possible. Krieger helped lead the team to her first NWSL Championship and received a litany of hugs and congratulations.
One of the best moments came when Krieger was told to turn around and her former teammate Sydney Leroux was standing there with her family.
Sydney Leroux surprises Ali Krieger
— NJ/NY Gotham FC (@GothamFC) November 12, 2023
— Lula ² (@lulajackie11) November 12, 2023
The two are essentially family as Krieger even refers herself as “Auntie” to Leroux’s two kids, Cassius and Roux. Leroux said that Krieger was a “beautiful daughter, sister, auntie, friend, teammate and the mom of all moms” in an Instagram post.
Krieger, 39, and Leroux, 33, were teammates with the United States women’s national team and for several years with the Orlando Pride.
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The 2023 NWSL Championship adds one more trophy to Krieger’s cabinet that was already holding two World Cup titles and a UEFA Champions League title too.
Perhaps Krieger’s first NWSL Championship will work as inspiration for Leroux who is also seeking a domestic league title. Leroux admitted that her time on the field is also nearing an end.
“This was the first time in 30 years of playing this game where I said to myself, ‘this is going to be over for me soon,’” Leroux said. “You forget who you were before because time passes so quickly now.
“We forget that we are still that bitch no matter what phase of life we are in.”
Leroux and Angel City finished fifth in the NWSL table but were defeated 1-0 by OL Reign in the first round of playoffs.