Ali Krieger completed her third season with the Orlando Pride after being acquired from the Washinton Spirit for Orlando’s second spot in the Distribution Ranking Order at the end of 2016. In a bit of a surprise move, Jill Ellis called Krieger up to the United States Women’s National Team for the 2019 Women’s World Cup, and as such she missed much of the Pride’s 2019 season.
The Pride defense was definitely one of the least productive parts of a not-great squad, and when she’s with the team Krieger is certainly one of the leaders of that defense. That being said, how did the veteran defender do in 2019?
Krieger started the first four games of the season for the Pride before she left to join the USWNT. She returned on July 20 against Sky Blue FC for the Pride’s first shutout of the season. After returning, she started eight of the team’s 11 remaining games, going the full 90 in each.
In total, Krieger played 12 games for the Pride (all starts), accumulating 1,080 minutes, and the team went 2-8-2 in those matches. She did not score a goal but she did notch one assist. Krieger attempted only three shots (none on target) and completed 346 of 452 total passes for a 76.5% passing rate, contributing six key passes on the year.
Defensively she made 47 clearances, seven blocks, and 16 interceptions, with a 42.6% tackle success rate, a 57.7% duels success rate, and a 41.9% aerial duels success rate. She suffered three fouls, conceded four fouls, and earned one yellow card.
Krieger’s best game came in her last one of the season in the Pride’s 1-1 draw against Sky Blue FC on Sept. 29. It was one of the better games played by the entire team last season, and though Krieger was charged with giving up the corner kick that set up the equalizer for Sky Blue, it was off a good defensive block she made. Earlier in the match, Krieger almost scored, but the free kick delivery by Claire Emslie glanced off her foot and over to Shelina Zadorsky who gave the Pride the lead.
A free kick from @emslie22 and an easy finish for @Shelina4 at the back post.— NWSL (@NWSL) September 29, 2019
0-1 | #NJvORL pic.twitter.com/OmZz31eoLv
Thanks to that touch, Krieger was given the assist, her only one of the season. The biggest factor was that Krieger and the Pride were stingy enough on defense to keep Sky Blue out of the goal until the 88th minute. Krieger got one of her three shot attempts on the season in this match as well.
2019 Final Grade
The Mane Land staff gave Krieger a grade of 5 for the 2019 season. That is a drop from her 2018 grade of 6, and well below the 8 we gave her in 2017, but given the performance of the entire Pride squad, and her lack of playing time due to international duty, it’s not really very surprising. At 35, Krieger is on the tail end of her career, and she doesn’t have the speed she once did. That being said, she does have a good eye for the game, and can somewhat make up for her diminished speed with soccer smarts. However, she was also a part of a porous back line that gave up too many opportunities to the opposition.
Despite her age, Krieger is the type of veteran player it might be hard for Marc Skinner to let go. If he is indeed trying to get younger and faster, having Krieger’s experience on defense might allow him the time to bring along some younger defenders. Krieger played a similar role for the USWNT during the World Cup, and I can see Skinner utilizing her in the same manner next season.
Previous Season in Review Articles (Date Posted)
- Abby Elinsky (10/16)
- Morgan Reid (10/17)
- Emily van Egmond (10/18)
- Carson Pickett (10/19)
- Lainey Burdett (10/22)
- Alex Morgan (10/25)
- Caitlin Farrell (10/26)
- Sydney Leroux (10/27)
- Joanna Boyles (10/30)
- Julie King (10/30)
- Camila (10/31)
- Toni Pressley (11/1)
- Danica Evans (11/2)
- Rachel Hill (11/4)
- Claire Emslie (11/4)
- Bridget Callahan (11/5)
- Haley Kopmeyer (11/7)
- Alanna Kennedy (11/11)
- Shelina Zadorsky (11/11)
- Erin Greening (11/12)
- Kristen Edmonds (11/12)
- Marisa Viggiano (11/14)
- Dani Weatherholt (11/16)
- Ashlyn Harris (11/18)
- Marta (11/20)
We hope you have enjoyed our 2019 Orlando Pride Season in Review pieces. While the season wasn’t what we hoped for and many of the performances weren’t as expected, we tried to view the players with a fair yet critical eye. Whether you agree or disagree with our staff ratings, we appreciate you taking the time to read them.