US soccer players Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris didn't reveal their relationship for fear of losing jobs and sponsorship
US soccer stars Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris have told how they were both 'nervous' to reveal their relationship in fear of losing their jobs and sponsors.
The World Cup champions met in 2010 at a national team training camp and got married in December last year.
But despite the happy-ending the pair had spent years hiding their relationship from the public.
Krieger, 35, told Telegraph Sport: "We were nervous from when we met to when we were together.
“When we were younger we were obviously afraid to lose our jobs, sponsorships, and we weren’t sure how our team, coaches, staff, administration were going to react."
Between 2013-2015 the pair were both signed to National Women's Soccer League club Washington Spirit. Krieger made 63 appearances whilst Harris, 34, made 46.
The franchise for years did not openly support the LGBTQ community and last November Krieger opened up about how she struggled at the club.
"I just didn’t feel like I was playing for a club that really respected me and supported me and my lifestyle," she added.
In 2016 Harris signed with Orlando Pride and a year later Krieger followed.
And it was in March last year they decided to go public.
Krieger said: "We felt like it was time. I wasn’t on the [USA] team, and we felt we’re kind of on different paths and maybe this is a good time.
"Also people were speculating. So, what’s holding us back?"
Harris added: "I wanted to be patient, because I wanted it to feel right for Ali. But I wasn’t living my life by the morals I’ve set for myself, in being open and honest with my fans.
"I’ve always been someone who’s really just given everything to the people around me, whether that was about addiction, depression or self-harm, but there was this huge element that I was keeping secret. Truthfully, it was eating me up a lot of times.
"I kept thinking about my younger self and the more I hid would be the more a young kid would hate themselves. Now, when I look back, I am sad and angry at myself for waiting that long. But it’s a process, not everything is perfect."
The US team are currently preparing for the SheBelieves Cup, where they will face defending champions England on March 6 in Florida.
The best videos delivered daily
Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox