Close to 200 Ali Krieger fans, mostly children, showed up at Potomac Shores to watch a groundbreaking and naming ceremony for the future sports complex that will bear Krieger’s name.

Potomac District Supervisor Maureen Caddigan told the crowd that Krieger was the perfect candidate to lend her name to the complex since she is a graduate of Forest Park High School and a member of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion team. “Today is groundbreaking, and that’s the start of fulfilling a dream to build this fantastic sports complex.”

When it’s finished, the Ali Krieger Sports Complex— on 29.7 acres adjacent to St. John Paul the Great High School — will include nine rectangular, multi-purpose fields; a softball field; two Little League Fields; restrooms; a tot lot; and parking.

Prince William Chairman Corey A. Stewart spoke at the event and told the crowd that the sports complex, along with other fields the county is building, will benefit the children in the community. “When we prepare our kids for the future – academics, of course, is number one – but a healthy body is a healthy mind. I think that in order to prepare them for the future, we’ve got to make the space available for them to go out and exercise, have a great time, build sportsmanship and team work… It’s so important to their future.”

Krieger, who currently plays for the Washington Spirit of the National Women’s Soccer League, said she was thrilled to have the complex bear her name. “It’s such an honor to be here and give my little piece back to the community that made me who I am.”

After thanking the parents for offering their children the same kind of support that she had growing up, Krieger told the children to do their best at everything. “I was so inspired and motivated at such a young age; and hopefully, you guys will be able to be inspired and motivated at your age playing on these fields. Don’t ever stop believing in yourself. Work hard. Challenge yourself to get better every day.”

The children applauded and cheered when Krieger said she looked forward to being back in the neighborhood. “I can’t wait to see the finished product and to be back here to support all of you playing.”

Rippon Middle School student Parker Hollenbeck said he’s ready to use the fields once they’re done. “It’ll be a very good place for all the kids to play,” the 11-year-old said. “It’s a good thing to practice and become better.”

Chase Rooney, an 8-year-old Henderson Elementary School student, said she, too, looked forward to playing on the fields. “I think that it’s very nice that people did this. It will let kids practice and get better and have fun.”

The complex is being built by Suncal, the developer of Potomac Shores, as part of a 2013 rezoning-proffer agreement. Proffers are voluntary commitments developers make to offset any adverse effects their development might have on the community.

According to the proffer agreement, the developer would begin phased construction of the fields as soon as the 500th house in Potomac Shores was finished. In fulfillment of this commitment, the developer has started construction on the complex.

he Prince William Board of County Supervisors and the Catholic Diocese of Arlington recently entered into an agreement that will allow the community and Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School to share the complex and parking.

Debbie Andrew, director of the Prince William County Department of Parks and Recreation, said that without the agreement with the high school, the number of fields the developer could put in would have been limited. “We probably would have lost at least two soccer fields if we weren’t able to share their parking.”

Mike Yeatts, the executive director of Prince William Soccer, Inc., said the complex would see a lot of use. “The Ali Krieger Sports Complex will be one of the last major parks developed on this end of the county. Thousands of kids will be able to play on these fields when the park is finished. Families from around the

Potomac District will now have a sports complex where their kids can dream to one day play in a world cup.”

The first phase of the complex, which will include three rectangular, multi-use fields, one diamond field and an Americans with Disabilities Act accessible path, is expected to be available for use in 2017.