Julie Ertz is an American soccer player signed to the Chicago Red Stars of the National Women's Soccer League and also plays for the United States women's national soccer team. She has been part of two FIFA Women's World Cup winning teams in 2015 and 2019 and also represented US at the 2016 Olympic Games. She earned the 'U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year' honor twice in 2017 and 2019, and was nominated for the same in 2018. As a youth player, she had won nine state titles for the Sereno Soccer Club. She played with the Santa Clara University Broncos at the collegiate level and was selected as the third overall pick in the 2014 NWSL College Draft by the Chicago Red Stars. She is married to American football player Zach Ertz, who plays for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League.
Childhood & Early Life
Julie Ertz was born as Julie Beth Johnston on April 6, 1992, in Mesa, Arizona, the United States, to Kristi and David Johnston. She was introduced to soccer early on through the American Youth Soccer Organization and played for the Arizona Arsenal Soccer Club in 2000-04.
In 2004, she switched to Sereno Soccer Club in Phoenix, where her older sister Melanie also played, and represented the club's U13 through U19 teams until 2010. She also led the team as captain and won the state title nine times during her stint there.
From 2006 to 2010, she studied at Dobson High School in Mesa and was a member of the National Honor Society. However, she never played for the school soccer team and instead volunteered as a student athletic trainer.
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Joining Santa Clara University for her communications course, Julie Ertz began playing as a midfielder for the Broncos women's soccer team and registered five assists in 2010.
She was named the 'WCC Freshman of the Year' and was selected into the NSCAA All-West Region Second-Team, Soccer America All-Freshman First-Team, All-WCC Second-Team, and WCC All-Freshman Team in 2010.
She started all the 21 games during her sophomore year and scored nine goals, including four game-winning ones, and also had four assists. That year, she was a semi-finalist for the 'MAC Hermann Trophy' and was selected for the NSCAA All-American First-Team and the All-WCC First-Team.
As a junior, she led the team with eight goals and had the second highest assists, which included three game-winning goals and one assist in the first round of the NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament. She was again a 'MAC Hermann Trophy' semi-finalist that year and was named 'U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year'.
In her senior year in 2013, she scored 12 goals, including four decisive goals, led the Broncos with eight assists, and also had an assist in the first round of NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament. That year, she was named 'WCC Player of the Year' and 'College Sports Madness WCC Player of the Year'.
Julie Ertz was selected as the third overall pick by the Chicago Red Stars in the first round of the 2014 NWSL College Draft and scored the only goal on her debut on April 19. At the end of the season, she was named 'NWSL Rookie of the Year' with two goals from 21 starts, but her team missed the playoffs and finished fifth with a 9–7–8 record.
Despite missing much of the 2015 regular season representing the national team, she made 11 appearances for the team and helped the Red Stars finish second in the league. While she failed to save the team from their disastrous 0-3 loss against FC Kansas City in the playoffs, she was still named to the NWSL Best XI.
She again missed much of the 2016 season due to national commitments, and remained goalless despite starting in all of her 13 appearances. Taking up a new role in attacking midfield, she helped the team reach the semi-finals of the championship and was named to the NWSL Second XI.
Her 2018 season debut was delayed after she suffered a knee injury at the third edition of the 'She Believes Cup', but she helped Chicago qualify for the playoffs for the fourth consecutive time. However, they also lost in the semi-finals for the fourth straight time, even though she still secured a spot in the NWSL Second XI.
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During the 2019 season, she started in all the 16 games she played, and had a crucial role in taking the team to their first appearance in the NWSL Championship. However, the team lost the final to North Carolina Courage.
Julie Ertz was the captain of the US national team that won the 2012 CONCACAF Under-20 Women's Championship and the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Japan, where she also won the Bronze Ball. Playing for the U23 team, she contributed in winning the Four Nations Tournament in La Manga, Spain, in March 2013.
She had already made her senior team debut against Scotland on February 9, 2013, as an 83rd minute substitute in a 4-1 win. She made it to the roster for the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship due to a last-moment injury and helped the team qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada.
She started three matches during the 2015 Algarve Cup and scored her first international goal in the final against France in a 2-0 win. She started all the matches at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, and despite scoring an own goal in the final, was named to the FIFA Women's World Cup All-Star Team following their 5-2 win.
She played at the 2016 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying tournament, where her team defeated Canada 2-0 and qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
She subsequently helped US win the 2016 She Believes Cup and represented her country at the Olympics, where they lost to Sweden in penalty kicks in the quarterfinals.
After coach Jill Ellis shifted her from center back to defensive center midfield in early 2017, she excelled at this new position and won the 'U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year' honor.
In her second World Cup appearance in France in 2019, she helped US win their fourth title and earned the 'U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year' award again.
Family & Personal Life
Julie Ertz first met Philadelphia Eagles’ tight end Zach Ertz in 2012, at Klein Field, the Stanford University baseball stadium during a Stanford baseball game while both were in college. They got engaged at the same place in February 2016 and got married on the coast of Santa Barbara, California, on March 26, 2017.
Both Julie and Zach Ertz posed naked for ESPN’s 'The Magazine's Body Issue' in 2017. The couple launched the Ertz Family Foundation in 2018 to "use their success as athletes to better the world".
Julie Ertz and her national teammates featured on 'FIFA 16', which was the first video game in the EA Sports series to include women players.