Engaged Soccer Stars Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris on Why They Never Previously Confirmed Romance

National Women's Soccer League stars Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris are engaged, the couple exclusively confirmed to PEOPLE

Earlier this week, PEOPLE exclusively confirmed that Orlando Pride stars Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris recently said yes to forever together.

The exciting engagement also marks the first time the couple has ever publicly confirmed their romance — a decision they made together, years prior.

Speaking to PEOPLE, the happy couple said they worried their relationship could create a distraction for their 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, 34, told PEOPLE. “And that was most important for us.”

The couple — who met in 2010 — both play for the Pride, on which Krieger is a defender, while Harris is a goalkeeper. Despite their secrecy, many of their fans have long picked up on their chemistry together — and came up with a nickname for the couple, calling them “Krashlyn.”

Now, they say, they feel more comfortable sharing their love with the world.

“We became more and more confident within and ourselves and then clearly within our relationship,” said Harris, 33. “We were like, now is the right time … and I feel like it’s a massive weight off of my shoulders. 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.”

Daniel Seung Lee

Harris popped the question back on September 15, just a few days after they finished playing their final game of the season. As they took a selfie together of the sunset, Harris held up the ring to Krieger’s surprise.

“It was a really good time because I felt really on the same page with her, and really excited about our future and talking about our future plans with kids, and family, and things like that,” Krieger told PEOPLE. “It just was a really good time. I was really surprised because it just seemed like another weekend getaway for us.”

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