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Professional Jul 27, 2011

Fatigued Ali Krieger contemplating her next career move

By Charles Boehm

Dumfries, Va. native and Prince William Soccer, Inc. product Ali Krieger was one of the United States’ breakout stars of the Women’s World Cup, playing every minute of the tournament for the U.S. and netting the victory-clinching penalty kick in the thrilling shootout win over Brazil in the quarterfinals.

But as the only U.S. player not currently under contract with a club, Krieger’s future is much cloudier than her teammates’, all of whom will quickly return to action with their WPS teams. Earlier this year she finished a four-year stint with top-flight German side FFC Frankfurt, where she played against much of Europe’s top competition and eventually became the United States’ only overseas-based national teamer before returning home to maximize her chances of making the World Cup squad.

Not only did she achieve that goal, she made the right back position her own with a series of strong performances – but now she must decide whether to join a WPS club here in the States, return to Europe or remain unattached to focus on U.S. preparations for next summer’s Olympics.

First, she’ll take some time off from the game for the first time in nearly a year, one of several topics she discussed with leading women’s soccer journalist Jeff Kassouf after an appearance with Abby Wambach and several other U.S. stars in upstate New York this week.

“Currently I am unsure of what I want to do. I am pretty tired and I am drained from the long year, the 10 month Bundesliga season that I just played before the World Cup,” Krieger told Kassouf, “so it’s been a lot. We already turn it around in September, training for the Olympics, so I think I might just take this time and relax and get my head back. Mentally and emotionally it was pretty draining.”

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