Julie Ertz: Competitor Until The End

Julie Ertz is a competitor and a champion. The U.S. Women’s National Team great will play her final match for the USWNT on Thursday, September 21, taking on South Africa at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati (7:30 p.m. ET on TNT, Universo and Peacock). The match will mark the close of a remarkable 10-year career in which Ertz helped lead the USWNT to remarkable team success while also showcasing her world class individual talents.

While the stat sheets have often failed to measure Ertz’ impact, whose work rate, world class ball-winning and elite abilities on both offensive and defensive headers were a cut above, we take a look at some of the standout numbers from her remarkable career.


While her role on the USWNT’s run to victory at the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cups is well-known, Ertz is in fact a three-time World Cup Champion, captaining the USA to victory at the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan. Ertz, who competed in the tournament under her maiden name Johnston, was awarded the Bronze Ball as the third-best player overall at the tournament, a rare feat for a central defender.


Ertz is the tenth woman to earn U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year honors on more than once, joining some impressive company alongside six-time winner Abby Wambach, five-time winner Mia Hamm, three-time winners Michelle Akers and Kristine Lilly, and fellow two-time recipients April Heinrichs, Carin Jennings-Gabrra, Tiffeny Milbrett, Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan. Ertz earned her first Player of the Year honor in 2017 after a dominant year as a defensive midfielder in which she scored a calendar-best six goals. She won the honors again in 2019 after a remarkable World Cup in which she started all six games in which she played and logged 474 minutes of action while helping the USA to its second consecutive Women’s World Cup title.


At just 23-years-old and with only 12 caps to her name entering the tournament, Ertz was one of the breakout stars of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, playing every minute of all seven games at center back in the USA’s championship run. Ertz entered the World Cup having logged only six 90-minute performances in her international career, but performed like a veteran and helped the USA to a shutout streak of 540 scoreless minutes  while earning a place on the FIFA WWC All-Star Team.


Ertz is the 16th woman to appear for the USWNT after becoming a mother, making return to the field for the USA on April 8, 2023, for her first match since giving birth to her son, Madden, in August of 2022. Ertz joins Shannon Boxx, Stephanie Cox, Joan Dunlap, Crystal Dunn, Tina Ellertson, Joy Fawcett, Danielle Fotopoulos, Sydney Leroux, Kristine Lilly, Kate Markgraf, Jessica McDonald, Alex Morgan, Carla Overbeck, Christie Pearce Rampone and Amy Rodriguez in the USA’s “Mom Club”.


Ertz has scored 20 career goals for the USWNT, netting her 20th with a dramatic game winner against Spain on March 8, 2020, to become the 29th woman to reach the milestone for the USA. Of Ertz’ 20 career goals, eight have come off free kicks and eight off corner kicks. Ten of her 20 goals have been headers, nine were scored with her right foot and one with her left. Impressively, 40% of her goals (eight of 20) have been game-winners.


Entering her 123rd and final match with the USWNT, Ertz has an overall winning percentage of 88.9% with the USA, helping the team to an overall record of 100 wins, 17 draws and just five losses in her 122 international appearances. The sixth-best win percentage of any player in USWNT history with 100 or more caps.

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