Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Ashlyn Harris: The Inspiring Journey of a Soccer Goalkeeper

Everything to Know about Ashlyn Harris Biography
Credit: CNN

Are you familiar with the story of a remarkable lesbian soccer player? Look no further than the captivating biography of Ashlyn Harris. Born as Ashlyn Michelle Harris on October 19, 1985, she is a retired soccer player from the United States. Ashlyn Harris made an indelible impact on the U.S. women’s national soccer team, contributing to their triumphs at both the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cups.

Everything to Know about Ashlyn Harris Biography

Here are some crucial details about Ashlyn Harris’s personal and professional life:

Ashlyn Harris Information

  • Full Name: Ashlyn Michelle Harris
  • Nickname: Ashlyn
  • Profession: Footballer
  • Social Handle: @ashlynharris24

Physical Stats

  • Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
  • Eye Color: Blue
  • Hair Color: Blonde
  • Weight: 66 kg

Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: October 19, 1985
  • Birth Place: Satellite Beach, Florida, United States
  • Nationality: American

Football Information

  • Position: Goalkeeper
  • Professional Debut: 2009
  • Jersey Number: 1

Everything to Know about Ashlyn Harris stats
Credit: NBC Sports

Ashlyn Harris Biography: Family & Early Life

To truly understand the secrets behind Ashlyn Harris’s success, let’s delve into her family background and early years.

Early Life in Cocoa Beach, Florida

Ashlyn Harris’s journey began in Cocoa Beach, Florida, where she was born to parents Tammye and Mike Harris. Growing up with her older brother, Chris, she embraced an active lifestyle, often joining him and his friends in skateboarding and surfing adventures. Her early years were characterized by a passion for club soccer, where she played on boys’ teams until the age of 14.

Club Soccer Success and High School Achievements

Ashlyn’s soccer prowess continued to develop as she played for various teams such as the Palm Bay Rangers, South Brevard United, and the Seminole Ice girls team. Notably, in 2003, she achieved a significant milestone by securing the state championship with the U-17 Indialantic Force.

Transitioning to Satellite High School in Satellite Beach, Harris played under the guidance of Coach Fitzgerald Haig. Her contributions led the team to win state championships in 2002 and 2003, earning her recognition as the nation’s top recruit, the 2004 Gatorade Player of the Year, and the 2004 NSCAA Player of the Year.

Graduating in 2004 with a 3.8 GPA, Harris garnered multiple accolades, including being a four-time Parade Magazine All-American, four-time NSCAA Youth All-American, and a McDonald’s All-American.

University of North Carolina Tar Heels Journey

In 2006, Ashlyn embarked on a new chapter by joining the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. However, her journey was not without challenges. National team commitments and a thumb injury delayed her enrollment. The following year, a torn ACL kept her out for the 2005 season, but Harris’s determination saw her make the 2006 Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Honor Roll.

Triumphs and Challenges in Collegiate Soccer

Despite returning in 2006, Harris faced another hurdle when she tore her left ACL during a U-21 Women’s National Team training camp. Remarkably, she recovered in time for the 2006 NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament, contributing to UNC’s championship win. The 2007 season brought a new challenge with a torn labrum in her right hip, yet Harris persisted, adapting her playing style.

Injury-Free Success in 2008 and 2009

The 2008 season marked Harris’s first injury-free period. She played a pivotal role in UNC’s success by employing a two-goalkeeper system, making crucial saves in the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament matches. UNC secured the championship against Notre Dame. Returning for the 2009 season, Harris started all 25 appearances without sharing the goalkeeper position, culminating in UNC’s victory in the 2009 NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament with a 1-0 win over Stanford in the championship game.

Profile

Everything to Know about Ashlyn Harris career
Credit: Out Sports

Ashlyn Michelle Harris, born on October 19, 1985, is an esteemed American former soccer player whose illustrious career spans international triumphs and a rich professional history. A distinguished goalkeeper, Harris made her mark representing the United States women’s national soccer team, significantly contributing to the team’s victories at the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cups.

Her collegiate journey at the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, where she clinched three NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championships, laid the groundwork for her stellar professional trajectory. With experience in leagues such as Women’s Professional Soccer, the Frauen-Bundesliga, and the National Women’s Soccer League, Harris showcased her versatility and skill across various teams. These include Saint Louis Athletica, Washington Freedom, Western New York Flash, FCR 2001 Duisburg, Tyresö FF, Washington Spirit, Orlando Pride, and Gotham FC.

Beyond her on-field achievements, Harris has become a symbol of dedication and sportsmanship, leaving an enduring legacy in American women’s soccer.

Football Career

Everything to Know about Ashlyn Harris Biography
Credit: substack.com

Let’s take a closer look at Ashlyn Harris’s career in her various clubs:

Pali Blues, 2009

Back in 2009, Harris and her UNC teammate Whitney Engen joined the Pali Blues of the W-League. The W-League was a popular choice for college players during the summer due to its open league status, keeping players eligible for college.

Saint Louis Athletica, 2010

In 2010, Harris got picked by Saint Louis Athletica in the 2010 WPS Draft. Training alongside Hope Solo and benefiting from goalkeeper coach Paul Rogers, things seemed promising. Unfortunately, Athletica folded mid-season due to financial issues, making Harris a free agent.

Washington Freedom, 2010

Post the Athletica saga, Harris signed with the Washington Freedom in June 2010. Initially not a starter, circumstances changed when Erin McLeod got injured. Harris stepped in as the starting goalkeeper, making her mark and securing a playoff spot for the team.

Western New York Flash, 2011

Moving on to the Western New York Flash in 2011, Harris played a key role in their successful season. She helped the Flash rank first at the end of the season and clinched the 2011 WPS Championship in a penalty shootout, where her crucial save secured the championship.

FCR 2001 Duisburg, 2012

With the WPS facing challenges, Harris signed a two-year contract with FCR 2001 Duisburg in Germany’s Frauen-Bundesliga in June 2012. She made her debut in October 2012, showcasing her skills. This was another turning point in Ashlyn Harris’s career.

Washington Spirit, 2013

Allocated to the Washington Spirit in the inaugural NWSL season, Harris returned home in 2013. She played a significant role, making 84 saves and ending the season with a 72% save percentage. Despite the team finishing last, Harris’s contributions were notable.

Tyresö FF, 2013

In a unique move, Harris joined Swedish club Tyresö FF for a short-term contract in August 2013. She played alongside national team members and appeared in the Damallsvenskan and the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

Washington Spirit, 2014-2015

Allocated once again to the Washington Spirit in 2014, Harris started all 19 appearances. However, the team faced challenges in the playoffs, resulting in an early exit.

Orlando Pride, 2016-2021

Joining the Orlando Pride in 2016, Harris became a pivotal player. She was named NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year in 2016 and remained strong in subsequent seasons despite some injury setbacks.

NJ/NY Gotham FC, 2022

After a trade in December 2021, Harris found herself with NJ/NY Gotham FC. The move marked a new chapter in her career, joining a new team.

Retirement Announcement

On November 14, 2022, Harris announced her retirement from professional soccer at the Player’s Ball in New York City. It marked the end of an illustrious career filled with achievements and contributions to the sport.

International Career

Ashlyn Harris Biography
Credit: The Guardian

Let’s review Ashlyn Harris’s performance in the United States national team:

Youth National Teams (2000-2006)

From 2000 to 2006, Ashlyn Harris actively participated in multiple youth national soccer teams. Her journey began in 1999 when she attended the United States U-14 Girl’s National Team Identification Camp. This marked the initiation of her representation for the U.S., continuing through the U-16, U-17, and U-19 teams in 2000.

Under-19 Women’s National Team (2001-2002)

Moving into 2001, Harris became a key player for the U-19 team, making 11 appearances and recording notable shutouts. Her journey included matches against international teams and participation in the WUSA preseason exhibition. In 2002, she played a crucial role in the CONCACAF qualifying tournament, securing the U.S. U-19 team’s spot in the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship.

Triumph at FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship (2002)

At the age of 16, Harris was the youngest member of the U.S. U-19 team at the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship held in Canada. She demonstrated exceptional skills in all six matches, contributing to the team’s victory in the championship game against Canada. Harris concluded the year with an impressive record of eight shutouts in 15 appearances for the U-19 team.

Transition to Under-21 Women’s National Team (2003-2006)

In 2003, Harris briefly joined the U-21 national team for a training camp and a four-game tour of Brazil. However, her U-21 journey faced interruptions due to injuries, including two ACL injuries in the summer of 2005 and 2006.

Senior National Team (2009-2020)

Harris received her first call-up to the senior national team in 2009 after a hiatus since June 2006 due to injury. Over the subsequent years, she continued to be a vital part of the senior national team, participating in various tournaments and matches until 2020.

Legacy and Records (2004)

In 2004, Harris captained the U.S. U-19 team in Thailand’s FIFA Women’s World Championship, earning recognition as a Tournament All-Star. She concluded her U-19 career with an outstanding record of 39 caps, marking her as the most capped U.S. U-19 player and an all-time international record of 28 wins, 5 draws, and 2 losses.

Returning to the National Team (2013)

In January 2013, Harris received a call to join a 29-player training camp for two upcoming matches in February. This marked her return to the national team after shoulder surgery the previous June.

Making Waves at the Algarve Cup (2013)

Harris secured her spot on the 23-player roster for the 2013 Algarve Cup in Portugal after the camp. As the starting goalkeeper, replacing the injured Hope Solo, she made her debut in a match against Sweden, playing the full 90 minutes. Despite allowing one goal in a 1-1 draw, head coach Tom Sermanni praised her performance, acknowledging the pressure she faced.

European Journey and Injury Setback (2013-2014)

Harris continued with the national team, traveling to Europe for matches against Germany and the Netherlands. In April 2013, she made her second appearance against the Netherlands. However, in December 2013, she underwent knee surgery for a torn lateral meniscus.

Returning to Action (2014)

Harris returned in 2014, participating in a training camp and being named to various rosters. She earned her fourth cap in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, recording her first career shutout in a 6-0 victory against Haiti.

Injuries and International Tournaments (2014-2015)

Harris faced challenges with injuries, including a broken pinky finger during the International Tournament of Brasilia in Brazil. Despite setbacks, she recovered in time for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where the United States emerged victorious.

Post-World Cup Activities (2015-2016)

Harris continued with the national team after the World Cup win, participating in various matches and tournaments. She was named as an alternate for the 2016 Olympic Games and remained a crucial player in subsequent years.

Competition and Injuries (2017-2018)

In 2017, Harris contended with competition for the goalkeeper spot and a quad injury, limiting her appearances. In 2018, she served as the backup to Alyssa Naeher, making the final roster for the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship.

World Cup and Olympic Qualifications (2019-2020)

Harris continued her national team journey, making the 2019 Women’s World Cup roster and the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying for Tokyo 2020, where the team secured qualification for the Olympics. She was also named to the SheBelieves Cup 2020 roster.

Ashlyn Harris Biography: Awards & Honors

Ashlyn Harris Biography
Credit: the-sun.com

Here are some of the awards and honors Ashlyn Harris has received throughout her career:

United States

  • FIFA Women’s World Cup: 2015, 2019
  • CONCACAF Women’s Championship: 2014, 2018
  • CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament: 2016, 2020
  • Algarve Cup: 2011, 2013, 2015
  • SheBelieves Cup: 2016, 2018, 2020
  • Tournament of Nations: 2018

Individual

  • National Soccer Coaches Association of America Player of the Year: 2004
  • NSCAA All-American: 2001-2004
  • Parade Magazine All-American: 2001-2004
  • Parade Magazine Player of the Year: 2004
  • Gatorade Player of the Year: 2004
  • NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year: 2016
  • NWSL Best XI: 2016
  • WPS Goalkeeper of the Year: 2011
  • WPS Best XI: 2011

Outside Professional Life

Ashlyn Harris Biography
Credit: timesnownews.com

Lastly, let’s explore Ashlyn Harris’s personal life and activities beyond her professional career:

Activities

Off the field, Harris is known for her unique style and numerous tattoos. She has a keen interest in fashion, music, surfing, and skateboarding. In August 2017, she signed a deal with Umbro, becoming their first female brand ambassador. Harris actively engages with mental health non-profit organization To Write Love on Her Arms. She has been open about her struggles with depression, aggression, and Adderall addiction in her younger years.

Harris has shown support for various causes, including standing up for a teenager, Aniya Wolf, who was banned from her prom for planning to wear a suit. She also supports victims and communities affected by the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando in June 2016. Like her national teammates, she speaks out about the sexism female athletes face and advocates for better pay and conditions.

In 2016, Harris and coach Jill Ellis went to Liberia as part of the U.S. State Department’s Sports Envoy program. They supported women’s sports and worked with students at the Monrovia Football Academy. Despite not having formal coaching experience, Harris has led goalkeeper training sessions at Ali Krieger’s youth camps.

A Lesbian Life

Harris was in a relationship with Ali Krieger from 2010 to 2023. They got engaged in March 2019 and married in December 2019. Megan Rapinoe played a part in their coming out and served as Harris’s maid of honor.

On February 14, 2021, Harris and Krieger announced the adoption of their daughter, followed by the adoption of their son on August 16, 2022. Unfortunately, Harris filed for divorce on September 19, 2023. In October 2023, it was reported that Harris is now dating actress and activist Sophia Bush.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where was Ashlyn Harris born?

A: Ashlyn Harris was born in Satellite Beach, Florida, United States, on October 19, 1985.

Q: What position did Ashlyn Harris play?

A: Ashlyn Harris played as a goalkeeper.

Q: Did Ashlyn Harris win any World Cup?

A: Yes, Ashlyn Harris was part of the United States women’s national soccer team that won the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015 and 2019.

Q: What are Ashlyn Harris’s awards and honors?

A: Ashlyn Harris has received numerous awards and honors throughout her career, including being named the NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year in 2016 and being part of the FIFA Women’s World Cup-winning teams in 2015 and 2019.

Q: Is Ashlyn Harris currently playing professional soccer?

A: No, Ashlyn Harris announced her retirement from professional soccer on November 14, 2022.

Conclusion

Ashlyn Harris’s incredible journey as a soccer goalkeeper has left an indelible mark on the sport. From her early years in Florida to her collegiate success at the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, Harris’s dedication and resilience propelled her to international triumphs and a notable professional career.

Off the field, Harris has been an advocate for various causes, including mental health awareness, gender equality in sports, and LGBTQ+ rights. Her impact extends far beyond the soccer pitch, making her an inspiring figure for athletes and fans alike.

As we celebrate Ashlyn Harris’s remarkable biography, let’s appreciate her contributions to women’s soccer and the lasting legacy she has left behind.

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