CHICAGO (Sept. 7, 2023) – Julie Ertz, one of the most successful and dynamic players in U.S. Women’s National Team history, will bid farewell to her professional soccer career when she plays in a final international match on Sept. 21 against South Africa at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati (7:30 p.m. ET on TNT, Universo and Peacock).
“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,” said Ertz. “I wasn’t expecting this honor so I’m very thankful to (interim head coach) Twila (Kilgore) and to U.S. Soccer for giving me the chance to close this chapter of my life with those who have made this journey so memorable.”
Tickets for Ertz’ USWNT “Farewell Game” are available here. Ertz will be honored before the match to celebrate her wildly successful career and then will play in her 123rd and final match for the USA. Ertz announced her retirement on Aug. 31.
The complete training camp roster for the September friendlies will be announced soon, but Ertz will not travel to Chicago for the second match of the two-game set against South Africa on Sept. 24 at Soldier Field (4:30 p.m. CT / 5:30 p.m. ET on TNT, Universo and Peacock).
Ertz played a major part in helping the USA win back-to-back FIFA Women’s World Cups, bursting onto the international scene in 2015 in Canada as a center back and then as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world in 2019 in France. She was off the field for 18 months following the Olympics in 2021 due to injuries and the birth of her son but made a comeback to play in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She was stellar in New Zealand and Australia, playing every minute of all four matches while marshaling a U.S. defense that allowed just two shots on goal over the four games.
Ertz is a two-time U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year (2017 and 2019) and is one of just five players to win both the U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year (which she won in 2012) and the senior team award. She is the only player to win the U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year and then win the U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year twice.
Ertz, 31, debuted for the USWNT in 2013 and her senior U.S. National Team career, which she began under her maiden name of Johnston, spanned 10 years. In her 122 caps, the USA has a record of 100W-17D-5L. Ertz played in 17 World Cup matches, all of which were starts, in which the USA amassed 13 wins and four draws while keeping 11 clean sheets. She played the most minutes of any U.S. player over the past three World Cups.
In 2012, as a center back, she captained the USA to the title at the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan and was awarded the bronze ball as the third best player in the tournament, a rare tribute for a defensive player. Her performance helped her earn the U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year award.