Defender Ali Krieger returns to the US women's national team
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Ali Krieger was between training sessions with the Orlando Pride on Tuesday afternoon when U.S. coach Jill Ellis texted her and asked whether she had time to talk.
Krieger informed Ellis she had one more practice, and she could speak in the evening.
Ellis had the news the 34-year-old defender had been hoping for: Krieger was back on the U.S. women's national team for the first time in nearly two years.
"It means everything for me," Krieger said Thursday at halftime of the U.S.-Ecuador men's exhibition. "I'm so ready and willing to do whatever is asked of me."
Krieger was selected for exhibition matches against Australia and Belgium as the team prepares for the World Cup in France starting in June.
She has not played for the United States since a game against Russia on April 6, 2017. Her last call-up to the team was for the Tournament of Nations in the summer of 2017.
"I feel really good and really confident," Krieger said.
A veteran of the 2015 World Cup champions, Krieger could shore up defense in the absence of Kelley O'Hara, who's sidelined by an ankle injury.
"I spoke with Ali and she's excited to come into camp and help this team in any way she can," Ellis said. "Opportunities, however they transpire, are exactly that, and Ali has been a great pro and will no doubt lean on her experience and strengths when she comes back into this environment. Recently, she has been training with her club in the outside back position and with the potential to add depth on the right side, it was good timing to bring Ali into this camp to join the other six defenders."
Krieger has 98 appearances with the national team. She recently announced her engagement to goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, an Orlando Pride teammate who was also called into training camp in Santa Barbara ahead of the friendlies.
Lindsey Horan returns after missing the SheBelieves Cup because of a quad injury.
The United States plays Australia on April 4 in Commerce City, Colorado, before facing Belgium in Los Angeles on April 7.
Goalkeepers: Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars).
Defenders: Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (NC Courage), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns).
Midfielders: Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit), Allie Long (Reign), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit), McCall Zerboni (NC Courage)
Forwards: Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue), Jessica McDonald (NC Courage), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Utah Royals), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe (Reign).
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Updated March 21, 2019