When will Julie Ertz play her final game with the United States Women’s team?
US Soccer and the USWNT confirmed that the two-time world champion will make her curtain call in Cincinnati later this month.
Just a few days ago, the historic USWNT player, Julie Ertz announced her retirement from professional soccer, bringing to an end a successful career which culminated with her participation in the recent Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Following the team’s elimination to Sweden in the Round of 16, the 31-year-old defender confirmed that it was time to step aside. “Unfortunately, this is my last time in this crest,” she told ESPN’s pitchside reporter Alexis Nunes.
However, it’s not quite over yet for Julie. US Soccer and the USWNT made the decision to give her a proper send-off. The two-time world champion has agreed to play one last game with the national team - along with another legend of the game, Megan Rapinoe.
The USWNT have two friendlies against South Africa during the September international break, and US Soccer issued a statement to confirmed that Julie Ertz will officially play her final game in the first of those friendly matches on Thursday 21 September at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati.
Ertz said she was grateful for the opportunity she has been given by US Soccer and the USWNT but also assured that she was not contemplating anything special to say goodbye to the sport that she loves so much. Instead, she emphasized her gratitude to managers, team mates past and present as well as the fans who have shown support during her decade-long international career.
“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,” she explained. “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”.
In comments to US Soccer, she added, “I expected to just walk away after retirement, but to have the opportunity to say goodbye to my teammates and the fans one last time is something special that many players dream of. I wasn’t expecting this honor so I’m very thankful to [interim head coach] Twila [Kilgore] and to US Soccer for giving me the chance to close this chapter of my life with those who have made this journey so memorable”.
US Soccer prepares a great tribute for Julie Ertz
In Cincinnati, US Soccer will hold a grand farewell ceremony prior to the match against South Africa, in which Ertz will be recognized and honored for her career and successes with the USWNT.
Ertz will then line up to play one final time with the Stars and Stripes, bringing her total appearances with Team USA to 123 during which she contributed 20 goals with an overall balance of 100 wins, 17 draws and five defeats.