International Sports

Julie Ertz

By: Margot Rawlings

Sports Editor

Julie Ertz, two time World Cup champion and player of the year for 2017 and 2019, announced her retirement following the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia. 

Ertz began her impressive career playing collegiate soccer at Santa Clara University, receiving honors such as First Team All American in 2012 and West Coast Conference (WCC) player of the year in 2013. Following her graduation from SCU, the Chicago Red Stars drafted Ertz as the third overall pick of the 2014 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft. She played for the Red Stars until 2021, appearing in almost 100 games, before the club traded her to Angel City FC. Shortly after the transition, Ertz won a bronze medal in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, before taking an 18-month break due to injury and pregnancy. 

Ertz returned to soccer just in time for the World Cup, starting in every match and playing every minute of the tournament. She controlled the defensive players on the field, only allowing two shots on goal throughout all their games. After the USWNT’s exit from the World Cup in the round of 16, losing 5-4 in penalties to the Sweden National team, Ertz explained in a post game interview that it was “probably the last game ever being able to have the honor to wear this crest.” 

A week after the World Cup, Ertz announced her retirement from the sport. She explained “I’ve been blessed to meet and train with some of the best and most inspirational women I’ve ever been around, and I’ve experienced different cultures while traveling the world to compete at the highest level.” Continuing, Ertz detailed, “As an athlete you’re always singularly focused on the next goal, the next tournament and rarely do you get time to reflect on your career… However, over the past couple of months my heart has been filled with gratitude as I’ve thought about the amazing experiences soccer has given me.” Although saddened to finish her career in professional soccer, she reminisced, “I gave everything I had to the sport that I love. With that I can walk away with no regrets because while I gave soccer every ounce of myself, soccer gave me even more, and for that I’ll always be thankful.”

Ertz played in her last international match on Sep. 21 against South Africa at the TQL Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. The team honored her before the beginning of the game, at 7:30 ET. Ertz concluded that, “to have the opportunity to say goodbye to my teammates and the fans one last time is something special that many players dream of.”

(Sources: CNN, US Soccer, Fox Sports, Wikipedia)

Leave a Reply