Ali Krieger’s return to the United States women’s national team began Tuesday night with a phone call from head coach Jill Ellis.
It was after her second training session of the day with the Orlando Pride.
And just like that, Ali Krieger was invited back to the USWNT ahead of its April camp.
Her first call-up to the national team in two years.
“I was a bit surprised,” Krieger told reporters Thursday night during halftime of the U.S. men’s game at Orlando City Stadium.
“Sometimes when I see Jill’s name (on her phone), my heart drops, but I was also with excitement. I told her that I’m kind of living in a new space. I’ve grown so much in two years as a player, as a person, mentally, emotionally, physically.”
The United States takes on Australia on April 4 and Belgium on April 7.
For Krieger, her return to the USWNT comes at a different point of her life.
“I’m better than I was two years ago,” she said. “So, I’m excited to go back into that atmosphere and environment kind of as a new person and player with a new mentality and new goal and that’s what exciting for me.”
Krieger said she always left the door open to one day come back to the national team.
When asked if she’ll leave the door open to represent the United States during this summer’s World Cup in France, she said she can’t think that far ahead after being gone from the national team picture for two years.
“I’m taking one day at a time,” she said. “I can’t think too far ahead. It’s been two years since I’ve been back. I just need to focus on being a good teammate, being a good person in that environment. Be a good player, perform well and we’ll start thinking about the next steps.
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