Soccer stars Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris have a new goal. After publicly announcing their engagement this week with People magazine, the couple is now eyeing a wedding next winter.
Krieger and Harris, who both play for the Orlando Pride, a National Women’s Soccer League franchise, have been engaged since last September. Their family and friends have known since the question was popped, but Krieger said she and Harris wanted to wait for the right time to make “a really nice public announcement.”
“We weren’t expecting all the love and support,” Krieger said of the reaction to their engagement news. “Everyone involved in our soccer team, including fans and supporters, have been so incredible.”
She said Harris proposed to her while the two were on a weekend getaway in Clearwater Beach, Florida.
“She had the ring for a little bit of time. I think she was just planning on the perfect time,” she explained. “It was really sweet and so perfect — exactly what I would envision it to be.”
Krieger, 34, and Harris, 33, met while playing for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team and have been an item for almost a decade.
“There’s been some ups and downs, but we’ve been together since 2010,” Krieger said. The two started out as friends before their relationship blossomed.
“She has been that constant in my life,” Krieger said of Harris. “Not only is she my partner, but she’s my best friend.”
Krieger said she and Harris will probably get married in Florida next winter. Though “nothing is set in stone,” she said they’re shooting for “this December.”
“I really want to marry Ash and start our next phase,” she said. “We want to have kids.”
Krieger said she and Harris hope their story can encourage others, especially younger people, to be their “authentic selves.”
“We hope this might help other couples, too, who might not be out or comfortable talking about their relationship,” she added.
The two soccer greats are not the only women’s sports stars to publicly announce their romance with a teammate or rival.
Last September, U.S. Olympic hockey star Meghan Duggan married her longtime rival Gillian Apps, a Canadian Olympic champion.
And in November 2017, U.S. Olympic hockey champion Julie Chu and Canadian Olympic hockey champion Caroline Ouellette celebrated the birth of their first child.