World Couples: USWNT stars and their athlete significant others at the 2019 World Cup2020/11/26 04:38
Six U.S. national team members are heading to the World Cup with the support of their pro athlete partners.
Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris
Having your partner in the stands, watching you compete would be a moment of pride for any athlete. But to have them by your side, even on the field with you, is better than Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris’ wildest dreams.
Krieger and Harris will join the U.S. women’s national soccer team on back-to-back trips to the FIFA Women’s World Cup. But this time, they’ll be going as fiancées.
The Orlando Pride defender and goalkeeper went public with their relationship for the first time in March and announced their engagement.
Called in together to represent the USWNT in 2010, the pair have been together for nearly a decade.
“Here we are nine years later, and we’re going to be getting married this year,” Harris told People.
MORE: 'Burden' of secrecy lifted, Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris ready for World Cup together
The USWNT stars kept their relationship private to avoid distraction from their club, national team and teammates.
“We wanted to be professional and make sure that we showed up every day and did our job and it wasn’t just because we were together, it was because we love what we do, and we’re really good at what we do,” Krieger told People. “We were like, now is the right time … and I feel like it’s a massive weight off of my shoulders.”
Krieger, who is embarking on her third World Cup, was a hopeful addition to the roster, having been out of USWNT camps for two years.
“It’s a dream come true to be back,” Krieger told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “It’s really nice to be able to share this moment with her and make these memories with [Ashlyn], and really have someone in your corner that understands the [training] process and how tiring it is.”
The couple is still dedicated to not being a distraction from the team and their historic chase for a fourth title.
“When we’re at work, we’re there to work. I’m her teammate,” Harris said. “We’re very much about the team. We put the team first. And when we’re at home, the relationship comes first.”
MORE: A complete guide to the 2019 Women's World Cup
Julie and Zach Ertz
Julie Johnston met Zach Ertz at a baseball game at Stanford, where Zach was a junior tight end and Julie was a sophomore midfielder at Santa Clara University. He writes about the chance meeting that he, “went up and sat right next to her…that was that.”
The pair married in 2016, the year after Julie and the USWNT won the 2015 World Cup and the year before Zach caught the Super Bowl-winning touchdown for the Philadelphia Eagles. Julie and Zach have been hailed as a sports power couple and, in the summer of 2017, were featured together in the ESPN Body Issue, highlighted by the pride they have in each other’s accomplishments.
“I love watching Julie play,” Zach told ESPN. “I know how much work she puts into her sport and her craft. To see that hard work payoff is very satisfying to me too.”
And Julie is no stranger to seeing Zach’s hard work payoff, too.
The night of the 2017 NFC Championship game, Julie heard the news that Zach was Super Bowl bound after her own game ended and the moment went viral.
“He’s my No. 1 supporter and fan,” Julie told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “To be able to have him there — and obviously, hopefully celebrate with him in the end — I’m very grateful for him and his support, and of course the [Eagles’] as well.”
The Ertz household has a Superbowl title and a World Cup trophy — and is seeking a second this summer in France.
If that’s not goals, figuratively and literally, I don’t know what is.
Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird
Megan Rapinoe and WNBA star Sue Bird are giving the Ertzes a run for their "power couple" money.
The Seattle Storm guard and the Seattle Reign striker have been together since 2016, first meeting at the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Bird came out to the public in an interview with ESPNW, relaying her relationship with Rapinoe to the world.
Since then, they’ve become the LGBT community’s most visible sports couple.
“Megan opened my eyes … that there's a very high value in somebody who is a public figure coming out and talking about their sexuality and what that means for kids and for society," Bird said in an interview with Seattle Refined.
They were the first gay couple to be featured together on the cover of the ESPN Body Issue last summer.
Their support on the field and court is apparent, telling Seattle’s Q13 FOX they have season tickets to the other’s team.
And Rapinoe credits her performance on the pitch to Bird’s nutritional influence.
She told ESPN, “Once we met and started dating … I saw the difference so quickly and saw the change in myself so quickly that I was like, 'Oh, this is actually working' I'm gonna keep on this. Keep playin' 'til I'm 37.”
Like the Ertzes, the Rapinoe-Bird household has plenty of hardware in its trophy case.
The couple has three WNBA titles, five combined Olympic gold medals and one World Cup.
Rapinoe is looking to add to that collection. Bird will almost lead an "I believe that we will win!" chant from the couple’s hometown.
Alex Morgan and Servando Carrasco
Married in 2014, Alex Morgan and Servando Carrasco make up one of professional soccer’s most recognizable couples.
The LA Galaxy midfielder and the Orlando Pride forward are on opposite sides of the country now, but they always make time to support each other.
“I watch her games, and she watches my games. We definitely make it work,” Carrasco told Pro Soccer USA.
And after Morgan's World Cup win in 2015, he was right there, ready to celebrate with her.
“Obviously, with the national team, I’m away for a couple weeks at a time, all the time. So we’ve gotten used to that,” Morgan told the Orlando Sentinel.
They've also gotten used to winning, and Morgan is aiming to add another World Cup to the family mantle.
Mallory Pugh and Dansby Swanson
Mallory Pugh is on her way to her first World Cup and her beau Dansby Swanson is one of the faces leading the Atlanta Braves this season.
The shortstop and USWNT forward met after the No. 1 MLB draft pick was traded from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Braves in 2015. Pugh’s brother-in-law, second baseman Jace Peterson, introduced the two. The young couple are fairly private about their relationship, but they certainly aren’t hiding it.
Swanson told Sporting News in March, “We never would have met, obviously, if I didn't get traded to Atlanta. Would never have met Jace, the whole thing. So I'm thankful now.”
In 2016, the 18-year-old Pugh became the youngest U.S. goal scorer in Olympic history. She’s looking for more on the biggest stage in soccer.
Pugh wrote in The Players Tribune, “I have a goal. It’s for this year, for the World Cup and beyond: I want to be the best at everything I do.”
She continued, “I’m hoping that I can make a statement at this summer’s World Cup — just like [Mia Hamm] did back in 1999. I’m hoping to get into one of those Mia Hamm Zones.”
The Braves are in season during the World Cup, so Swanson likely won't have a chance to make it to France to support the national team. But if you’re in Atlanta, you might catch him at a U.S. matchday watch party.
Source : https://www.sportingnews.com/us/soccer/news/world-cup-uswnt-stars-significant-others-2019/1g3d45ezxu2or171234u7l4vit