WASHINGTON — Alexandria native Ali Krieger has seen a lot in her soccer career. She’s been a member of the US Women’s National team since 2008 and has recently returned home to play for the Washington Spirit of the NWSL. The popularity of the US Women’s National team exploded in 2011 after Krieger and company made a run to the Women’s World Cup final, a game over 13 million people watched on television.
After losing to Japan in that final, the players returned to their club teams as record crowds turned out. However, just months after a championship game in Rochester, NY that had 10,000+ in attendance, the Women’s Professional Soccer league folded. The WPS joined a long line of women’s leagues that had failed in this country despite the booming success of the national team.
Shortly after, a new league started. The NWSL was determined to succeed where the others had failed, and came armed with a different plan to do so. The NWSL was formed with the support of US Soccer, some partnerships with MLS and an emphasis of focusing on what was best for the players.
The results so far have been fruitful. The NWSL is now the longest ever running women’s professional league in America. Why? That’s what I wanted to ask Krieger. You can hear her answer, plus her thoughts on her Olympic experience, the intensity of the USWNT’s fans and where the league can grow in our exclusive sit-down.
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