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Ali Krieger discusses trade on social media

Ali Krieger returns tot Washington on Saturday, July 8 (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

Ali Krieger is heading to the Orlando Pride following a trade with the Washington Spirit. (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

Ali Krieger is heading to the Orlando Pride following a trade with the Washington Spirit. (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

Ali Krieger on Thursday posted to her social media accounts that the Washington Spirit’s decision to trade her to the Orlando Pride “comes as a surprise,” but she “remain[s] grateful for the opportunity to play professional soccer in my hometown for the past four years.”

Krieger, in a trade announced Wednesday, was sent to Orlando in return for only a higher ranking in the still ambiguous NWSL distribution ranking order.

On Thursday, she issued a statement on her personal site – which almost instantly crashed from a traffic overload – and on her Instagram account, thanking the fans, her teammates and the Spirit organization.

“Ever since I was a little girl, I have dreamed of playing professional football for my city and my hometown in front of my friends and family, and possibly retiring in Washington, D.C.,” she wrote. “I have always wanted to grow the game and ultimately bring a Championship to the city that I call home. Despite falling short of that goal, I gave this city and club everything and I have no regrets.”

The trade comes amid rumors of unrest within the Spirit team following a series of events, including owner Bill Lynch’s decision to play the national anthem without teams on the field on Sept. 7 in order to deny Megan Rapinoe the opportunity to kneel during it. Spirit players issued a statement later that week publicly disagreeing with Lynch’s decision, a stance reportedly organized by Krieger.

Ever since I was a little girl, I have dreamed of playing professional football for my city and my hometown in front of my friends and family, and possibly retiring in Washington, D.C. I have always wanted to grow the game and ultimately bring a Championship to the city that I call home. Despite falling short of that goal, I gave this city and club everything and I have no regrets. Although the Washington Spirit’s decision to trade me comes as a surprise, I remain very grateful for the opportunity to play professional soccer in my hometown for the past four years, and I want to thank the Washington Spirit organization for that chance. I do think change can be a good thing, especially at this point in my football career. Being too consistent and comfortable in a certain space can be detrimental to personal growth so I must embrace this next opportunity. To all of my wonderful fans, I truly appreciate your continuous love and support in following my football career. Specifically to the Washington Spirit fans, especially the Spirit Squadron — Thank You! I will always hold a special place in my heart for each of you and please keep crushing the game! I sincerely appreciate the efforts of the Washington Spirit staff and volunteers who put in countless hours to support the team. Thank you to each of my coaches during my time in Washington. I wish you all the best and carry your lessons with me. Most importantly, I want to thank all of the teammates I had during my time here. You are all incredible women and deserve nothing but the best. Thank you to this year’s team for an unforgettable winning season and an undeniable team chemistry that I will cherish forever. I will miss you all tremendously, and I respect each and every one of you! #BOAB #AnklesWoke Finally, to the DMV, this is not the end. I will stay very engaged in the DC soccer community to continue to grow the beautiful game in my hometown. I’m very excited for my new journey! Ali

A photo posted by Ali Krieger (@akrieger11) on

Washington advanced to the NWSL Championship in October, losing to the Western New York Flash in a penalty-kick shootout after allowing a 124th-minute equalizer in extra time.

Krieger played for the Spirit for the first four seasons of the NWSL’s existence. She also previously played for the Washington Freedom in WPS in 2009 and in the semi-pro W-League in 2006 and 2007. She was born in Alexandria, Virginia, just a few miles outside of downtown Washington, D.C.

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