Professional soccer players Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger are not just teammates on both the U.S. Women's National and the Orlando Pride teams, but the engaged couple is also a team in fighting for women's equality on and off the field.
With their professional and personal lives intertwined, how do they make it work? "We create really good boundaries," Harris told Cheddar Tuesday. "Most importantly, we're professional. When we're working, we're working. When we're off the field, we're working on our relationship and spend time with our family." Plus, they prioritize: "We have a lot of communication and compromise" Krieger said.
Krieger's career has had its share of ups and downs. She kept working hard after U.S. Women's Soccer unexpectedly cut her contract in 2017 and landed a spot on the roster again in 2019. This past May, she hit an impressive milestone: 100 international appearances as a part of Team USA. But her work won't end here ー she says she wants to leave a legacy behind.
"We just want to leave the game better than we found it," the two-time World Cup champion said. "We want to continue to fight for equality, continue to fight for women's sports across the world, and just continue to fight for women across all industries."
To that end, her partner, Harris has signed onto a lawsuit filed by more than two dozen players accusing U.S. Soccer of not providing equal pay for the women's team. A trial is scheduled to begin next spring.
"Continuing to create visibility and continuing to use our platform for good," Harris said.
"To create change is not staying in your lane and keeping your mouth shut, it's actually going out there and like ruffling feathers and saying things that maybe makes people a little uncomfortable," Harris added. "Change is a really difficult thing and we're going through that right now, and there is crazy stuff going on in our world, but for us like we really have to put ourselves out there; and I know it's been difficult and a lot of people have a lot of opinions, but we stay true to what we believe; and we're fighting for younger generations and for women to have the strength across all platforms to say you know what 'this isn't what I want, this is what I deserve.'