Arizonan, 2-time World Cup champ Julie Ertz announces retirement from pro soccer
Aug 31, 2023, 9:49 AM
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Arizona-native soccer star Julie Ertz announced Thursday that she is retiring from the sport after her appearance with the United States national team in the 2024 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Ertz, who debuted for the U.S. in 2013, made 121 appearances and scored 20 goals for the senior team.
She played her club soccer with Angel City FC in Los Angeles. Ertz was a key component of the last two World Cup-winning teams in 2015 and 2019.
“These past 6 months have been a dream come true,” she wrote in part of a letter posted to Instagram. “After pregnancy, I never knew if I had a chance to play the beautiful game again, let alone another World Cup.
“As I have gotten older and become a mom, it’s clear the sacrifices of time away from my family no longer seem doable with so many factors at play.”
Ertz, who attended Dobson High School in Mesa, is married to Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz. They had their first child, Madden, in August 2022.
Julie Ertz, 31, foreshadowed hanging up the boots after the United States was eliminated from the World Cup earlier this month.
“Unfortunately this is my last time in this crest,” she told ESPN’s Alexis Nunes following the United States’ loss to Sweden.
She pulled back on that certainty in another interview when speaking with Fox Sports, saying it was “probably my last time ever being able to have the honor to wear this crest.”
The United States lost 5-4 in penalty kicks after playing to a 0-0 draw over 120 minutes with Sweden in the Round of 16. It was the earliest exit in tournament history for the United States, four-time winners of the World Cup and the two-time defending champion.
The United States national team announced Ertz’s retirement with a press release on Thursday listing her accomplishments.
“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,” Ertz said in a statement as part of that release. “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. 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.
“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.”