Julie Ertz, a two-time world champion who played in three women’s World Cups without losing a game, announced her retirement from soccer Thursday.
“Representing this country on the national team has been the greatest honor,” Ertz, 31, said in a statement posted on social media. “To play for the USWNT means you chase greatness every day. I hope I was able to leave an impact that reflects that.”
Ertz played every minute of the USWNT’s World Cup championship run at center back in 2015, then started six games as a midfielder in the 2019 tournament, which the U.S. also won. After giving birth for the first time last summer, Ertz rushed back to make the World Cup team again this summer and played every minute at center back before the U.S., which drew its final three games, was eliminated on penalty kicks in the round of 16.
Ertz played her final seven club games for Angel City this spring as part of her preparation for the World Cup, scoring her final professional goal in her second game with the club. She finishes her career having played in 122 games with the national team and 102 in the NWSL with the Chicago Red Stars and Angel City, making two FIFPro world best XI teams, two World Cup all-tournament teams and as a two-time U.S. Soccer player of the year.
“The game of soccer…shaped every part of who I am,” she wrote in her social media post. “It’s a sad thing to reflect and know the game just moves on without you. The game doesn’t owe you anything, but it has given me so much. I’m just grateful for the time we had.”