By Liam Griffin
Since its groundbreaking in 2015, the Ali Krieger Sports Complex has steadily grown from an unrecognizable field of cleared dirt to a world class soccer facility. This past Saturday, the complex celebrated its grand opening.
Ali Krieger is a professional soccer player and a product of Prince William. Her accomplishments include a World Cup victory in 2015 and participating in the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Despite her international success, Krieger has kept her hometown in mind. Now, with the opening of a sports complex named for her, she will be forever associated with sports in Prince William.
Several community leaders were on hand to recognize the occasion, including Congressman Gerry Connolly, At-Large Chairman of the Prince William Countys Board of Supervisors Corey Stewart, and State Senators Jeremy McPike and Scott Surovell. The day’s festivities included remarks from Congressman Connolly and Chairman Stewart, and the presentation of a resolution from the Virginia Senate commending Krieger on her achievements.
Krieger’s remarks were brief, but impactful. “Out of every achievement in my career, this one means the most to me,” Krieger stated. “Because it comes from my hometown.” After thanking the people who made the day possible, including her parents, Krieger addressed the young athletes in the crowd. She encouraged them to always enjoy the game, and accomplish anything they put their mind to.
More than a hundred fans attended the ceremony, as well. Dozens of number 11 jerseys dotted the crowd, some dating back to Krieger’s time at Penn State University, while others represented her current team, the Orlando Pride of the National Women’s Soccer League.
After the official cutting of the ribbon, Krieger stayed to sign autographs and greet fans of all ages. Fans were also encouraged to take a picture with Krieger, as she signed everything from jerseys, to soccer balls, to the ribbon that she cut earlier in the day.
Located adjacent to Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School in Dumfries, the Ali Krieger Sports Complex will also begin hosting instructional clinics led by Krieger starting on July 28.
Liam Griffin is a local freelance sportswriter.