Ali Riley was looking forward to resuming her soccer career on American soil this summer, having signed a one-year contract with the Orlando Pride in February. On June 22, however, six days before a warmup tournament, the organization withdrew from the National Women’s Soccer League after six players and several staff members tested positive for COVID-19.
Not to be deterred, the always upbeat Riley, who has also been captain of the New Zealand national team since 2017, returned to Malmo, Sweden in mid-July to begin training with FC Rosengård, where she played in 132 games from 2012-18.
Riley grew up on Kagawa in the Alphabet Streets. She was a multi-sport star at St. Matthew’s and a standout performer for her Westside Breakers and SoCal United club teams. She was a two-time Mission League MVP and earned All-CIF first team honors at Harvard-Westlake High in Studio City. She enjoyed a stellar fours at Stanford from 2006-09, switching positions from forward to outside back her junior year.
She played seven games with the hometown Pali Blues in 2009 before earning Rookie of the Year honors while leading FC Gold Pride to the WPS championship the following season. She has earned 132 caps for New Zealand.
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