Julie Ertz, a midfielder and defender who helped spark the United States to Women’s World Cup titles in 2015 and 2019, announced her retirement from professional football on Thursday.
The 31-year-old American, who married NFL tight end Zach Ertz in 2017 and became a mother in August 2022, served as a center back on the 2015 squad in Canada and a midfield standout four years later in France.
“I gave everything I had to the sport that I love,” Ertz said in a statement. “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.”
After recovering from a serious knee injury and helping the US women capture a bronze medial at the Tokyo Olympics, Ertz was off the field for 18 months due to injuries and the birth of her son.
She made a comeback for this year’s Women’s World Cup, playing every minute of all four matches before the defending champions were eliminated.
“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,” Ertz said.
Ertz made her US national team debut in 2013 and scored 20 goals in 122 caps over 10 years, starting all 17 of her World Cup appearances. The Americans won 100 matches, drew 17 and lost only five when she played.
At the club level, Ertz played eight seasons for the Chicago Red Stars, being named the National Women’s Soccer League’s 2014 Rookie of the Year. After taking a break in 2022, she returned with Angel City FC this year before the World Cup, but will not play again for Angel City this season.
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