Ali Krieger couldn’t have asked for a better support system on the day she—and the rest of the world—found out her wife had filed for divorce. In SELF’s January cover story, the soccer star shares how her Gotham FC teammates rallied around her during this incredibly vulnerable moment. “They didn’t even think twice,” Krieger tells SELF. “They didn’t have to ask; they just showed up.”
Last October, news broke that Krieger’s long-term partner and former US Women’s National Team teammate Ashlyn Harris filed for divorce after four years of marriage. “I found out at training,” Krieger says. “I was on the field. And I came off the field, in the locker room, and I was obviously devastated.” Understandably, Krieger canceled the press conference and fitting for her upcoming retirement game scheduled for later that day and just went home.
But she didn’t have to get through that first night alone. “My entire team came over for a dance party,” Krieger says. “And I will never forget that moment.” One after another, her teammates “just started walking through the door,” she continues. “All of them. At different times. Until 2 in the morning, we were there, just hanging out, dancing, putting music on YouTube… They were all bringing wine and flowers, and just…themselves.”
Along with her soccer family, Krieger’s best friend, Liz Mumley, and her brother, Kyle, were right by her side in the immediate aftermath of the divorce news. “Every day, he and Liz were checking in on me,” she says. In fact, Mumley came to New Jersey from Virginia Beach to stay with Krieger for a week and a half.
Three months later, Krieger says she’s still processing her (very public) breakup. But that surprise dance party continues to give her strength—and remind her how much she values her friendships. Her teammates’ sweet show of support is “something that I will never forget, and they will never understand how grateful and how…,” she says, trailing off for a moment. “I’m so appreciative.”
Read the rest of SELF’s interview with Krieger here.
- What Ali Krieger Would Tell Her Younger Self About Coming Out, Motherhood, and Getting Through Hard Times
- How to Get Over a Breakup, Even When It Feels Impossible
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