During a groundbreaking ceremony in October 2015, Ali Krieger – a 2016 Olympian and member of the 2015 Women's World Cup championship team – said she looked forward to the day she could come back and open the new sports complex that would eventually bear her name.
Krieger, a Prince William County native, recently got the chance to visit home and cut the ribbon for the complex that sits on 29.7 acres adjacent to St. John Paul the Great High School and includes seven rectangular, multi-purpose fields; a softball field; restrooms; a tot lot; and parking.
"Out of every achievement in my career, I have to say this one means the most to me. Yes, even winning the World Cup, even being an Olympian, this definitely beats all of that and that's because it comes from my home town," said Krieger, who got her start in soccer playing with a team called the Prince William Sparklers. "Prince William County has helped mold me into the woman and professional that I am today, and for that, I am forever grateful."
Krieger, a Forest Park High School graduate who played with the National Women's Soccer League's Washington Spirits from 2013 to 2016 and now plays for the Orlando Pride, also said she has high hopes for the fields and the children who will use them. "I'm so excited to see this complex become a home to make future dreams come true for young athletes playing the sports that they love. This complex will allow thousands of kids to live out their dream in this community, just like I did."
Chairman of the Board of County Supervisors Corey Stewart also spoke at the ribbon-cutting ceremony and said that the board knew that sporting facilities needed to be built to keep up with the county's growing population of school children. "We knew that we needed to do something to upgrade our … park facilities including, and most importantly, construction of new fields."
Getting the complex built depended on partnerships between the county, St. John Paul the Great Catholic High School and SunCal, the developer of Potomac Shores, where the complex is located.
Suncal built the complex, as part of a 2013 rezoning-proffer agreement. To fulfil the proffer agreement, the developer started construction of the complex as soon as the 500th house in Potomac Shores was finished.
The Prince William Board of County Supervisors and the Catholic Diocese of Arlington entered into an agreement to allow the community and St. John Paul the Great High School to share the complex and parking.
"This is the kind of thing that makes it all work, this cooperation between the public and private sector, academia, in this case, the school," Stewart said.
Potomac District Supervisor Maureen Caddigan said Krieger was named as one of the world's 11 best women's soccer players, so naming the complex after her fits. "It's most deserving to have this complex named in her honor."