US soccer stars Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris are engaged. The National Women's Soccer League players revealed to People that they're celebrating their decade-long romance with a wedding.
The couple, who now play together for the Orlando Pride, first met and fell in love while competing for the US National Team in 2010. "We became really close friends, and we just hung out, we clicked, and we had so much in common," Harris told People. "We always sat next to each other on the bus and on flights, and we kind of just talked about our dreams and our hopes and what we wanted to do one day when we grew up. Because at the time, we were kids ... The rest has kind of been history. Here we are nine years later, and we're going to be getting married this year."
Harris told People that she was first struck by Krueger's "big, beautiful brown eyes. She has these unbelievable tiger eyes. I just felt like every time she was talking, I wasn't even paying attention to what she was saying."
Krieger was initially drawn in by Harris' "creativity and ambition."
"I find that so attractive, and the way that she makes me a better person. I think that I'm very quiet and reserved," she said. "Since being with Ash, I really feel like I've blossomed into the woman that I want to be, and she's helped me become the woman I am."
As members of the same team, the couple never wanted to be too open about their relationship at work, preferring 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." But these days they're a bit more comfortable around their teammates.
"Finally, after all these years, I just feel like I don't have to hide anything or feel like I'm not living up to the community I'm in," Harris admitted.
The couple got engaged during a beachside picnic on September 15, and Harris instantly saw their future mapped out. "This is what I'm gonna be doing the rest of my life," she recalls telling herself. "It just all froze and I was like, 'this is it.'"