The always fashionable Ashlyn Harris arrived at her introductory NJ/NY Gotham FC press conference wearing a teddy coat.
“This is the only coat I own,” Harris joked. “I just got it.”
The two-time World Cup champion will need to expand her winter wardrobe after she and wife Ali Krieger were traded to Gotham – which plays its home games at Red Bull Arena Harrison, New Jersey – from the Orlando Pride.
“We know that we’re going to be taken care of and that we’ll feel valued and appreciated for what we bring every day,” Krieger said of the move northeast. “And ultimately, we also want to win an NWSL championship.”
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Harris and Krieger depart the Orlando Pride as the club’s two all-time appearance leaders with 89 and 86 games played, respectively.
Harris is slated to be Gotham’s starting goalie after the club traded away Kailen Sheridan (San Diego Wave FC) and DiDi Haračić (Angel City FC), while Krieger will bring veteran experience to the defense.
“These are two additions to our team that really embody excellence, both in what they’ve already done, but also in what they’re striving to do,” said Gotham general manager Yael Averbuch West.
Averbuch West, who played four full seasons in the NWSL, is one of the only former players to hold such a high-ranking position with any of the league’s 12 teams. Gotham officially named her GM on Tuesday, dropping the “interim” part of her title.
“She’s a big part of why we decided to come here,” Harris said. “I trust that she will build out this team, staff, and do incredible things in the game.”
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Harris noted that the difference in political climate also played a role in their move from Florida.
“When you have a child, so much changes,” she said. “Are we safe as a family? Are we part of a community that values being inclusive?”
Krieger also added they can’t wait for their daughter Sloane to be around more “badass women.”
Earlier on Wednesday, both Krieger and Harris posted heartfelt notes on social media, thanking Orlando Pride teammates, staff, and fans for their support. The couple echoed that sentiment in the press conference.
“We’re so grateful for that time, and what we learned, and what we’re going to take with us,” Krieger said.
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