A Conversation with Ali Krieger

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For those of you that are new to women’s soccer, Ali Krieger is one of- if not the- best right backs in the world.For those of you that are new to women’s soccer, Ali Krieger is one of- if not the- best right backs in the world. A veteran of two World Cups, she was part of one of the greatest backlines to every play the game,  and gave us one heck of a summer last year, not to mention that epic penalty kick in 2011 and a load of amazing memories in between.

I was lucky enough to get to snag a few moments of her precious time, after training last week and got to find out what her answer to the most important question ever was, what’s her favorite Penn State ice cream. Ok, I may have asked her about soccer and the Washington Spirit and their awesome start to the season, which are pretty important too.

Backline Soccer (BS): How does it feel being back at right back?

Ali Krieger (AK): So good. I think that playing other positions as well has helped in playing my natural position, because I get more touches on the ball, like playing in midfield last season, I thought that was really fun for me. It was a different experience for me so I think having that, I can apply what I usually do at right back to those positions and get more touches on the ball and get better at that in other positions that I played and kind of get more experience. Of course I’m going play wherever my coach wants to play me and do the best I can. It feels much better to be playing in my natural right back position now.

BS: It seems like you’re becoming more confident in taking shots. Have you been given more freedom with that or is it just the flow of the game?

AK: It’s kind of flowing, I feel like I want to get into attack more and it’s been difficult in this league because the run of play is go-go-go. We’ve tried to calm the game down a little bit, to have possession, in order for me to get forward and I’ve just been finding myself more into the attack recently. But I don’t plan it, no. Against Portland I maybe could have put a couple of headers in. It’s nothing new that I’m doing or changing. I get too excited when I get up there, it’s fun. How to stay calm now, I’ve got to figure that out.

BS: The backline is starting to look like they’re starting to gel together, how do you feel about the progress, especially since game one? With Stephanie being back there now, how is that affecting the adjustments?

AK: It’s good, obviously we only have 2 out of our back 5, as we call it, are the same from last year, so it’s been an adjustment. The other 3 have stepped in and done a tremendous job and we haven’t skipped a beat. I think we’ve moved a few steps forward from where we were last year and having Shelina in there, as well – being a young experienced Canadian National Team player, has really helped. We’re really building off of each game and only allowing one goal in right now has been really great for us and we kind of iron out the details as the game goes on and then we take a look at film and we’re like look this needs to be cleaned up before next game and moving forward in this long season that we have. I think we’ve done a good job so far and now it’s just kind of getting use to each other and getting comfortable playing next to each other, kind of sticking together as a unit, that’s really important. If one of us makes a mistake, we all make a mistake, it’s not one person is leaving the other person out to dry, we’ve really done a good job at being a unit and making sure all of us are on the same page because we do know there are new faces in the backline and it’s so important to be that connected back 5 and that’s huge for any team.

BS: This may be the Penn State kid in me, what is your favorite Creamery flavor?

AK: Mint Chocolate Chip. I haven’t been in a while, it’s newer I think. I have to go back and take a look and stay on top of the flavors and the names, but mint chocolate chip for sure.

(I looked this up, there is Mint Nittany or Bittersweet Mint.)