On Thursday, Julie Ertz, a defender and midfielder who led the US to Women’s World Cup victories in 2015 and 2019, declared her retirement from professional football.
The 31-year-old American was a centre back on the 2015 team in Canada and a prominent midfield player in France four years later. She married NFL tight end Zach Ertz in 2017 and gave birth to a child in August 2022.
In a statement, Ertz said, “I gave everything I had to the sport that I love.” “With that, I can leave football without any regrets because, even though I gave it everything I had, football gave me even more, and I will always be grateful for that.”
Ertz missed 18 months of action due to injuries and the birth of her baby after overcoming a significant knee injury and competing for the US women in the Tokyo Olympics, where she helped them win a bronze medal in the medial.
She returned for the Women’s World Cup this year, participating in every minute of the final four games before the reigning champions were eliminated.
“As I’ve considered the incredible experiences football has given me over the past few months, my heart has been filled with gratitude,” Ertz stated.
After making her debut for the US national team in 2013, Ertz went on to score 20 goals in 122 appearances during a ten-year period, starting all 17 of her World Cup games. When she played, the Americans won 100 games, drew 17, and only lost five.
Ertz spent eight seasons playing club soccer for the Chicago Red Stars, where she won the 2014 Rookie of the Year award from the National Women’s Soccer League. She rejoined Angel City FC this year prior to the World Cup after having a hiatus in 2022, although she won’t be playing for Angel City this season.