Julie Ertz, one of the most successful players in the history of the U.S. national team program, has officially announced her retirement from soccer. The decision comes as Ertz looks to shift her focus towards her family, a priority she has always emphasized throughout her career.
Ertz leaves the game with an impressive resume, boasting two World Cups, an Olympic medal, and a successful club career in the National Women’s Soccer League. She recently made a remarkable comeback earlier this year after overcoming a knee injury and maternity leave, grabbing headlines ahead of the upcoming 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
During her time on the field, Ertz showcased her versatility, playing as a center back in the 2015 World Cup and as a defensive midfielder in the 2019 World Cup. Her performances in both positions earned her widespread praise and recognition. In fact, she set a U.S. record for the longest shutout streak at a World Cup tournament in 2015.
Ertz’s ability to command the field with her vision and constant awareness of her surroundings was another hallmark of her play. She was recognized for her fierce competitiveness and the ability to elevate the performance of those around her. Her humility and attention to detail were characteristics that made her both admired and respected by teammates and coaches alike.
During her farewell game, Ertz expressed gratitude for the kind words and appreciation she received throughout her career. She acknowledged that her departure leaves a void in the program, but expressed confidence in the new players who have the opportunity to redefine their positions. The U.S. national team is still in the process of searching for a new head coach after their World Cup exit, but the pipeline of talent continues to grow.
Julie Ertz’s retirement marks the end of an era for the U.S. national team program. Her contributions to the sport and her dedication to her family will forever be remembered. As the team moves forward, they will undoubtedly miss her presence on the field, but the future remains bright as new leaders emerge and the program continues to evolve.