Julie Ertz to play her final USWNT match against South Africa

Julie Ertz will represent the US women’s national team for the last time on September 21 in a friendly against South Africa.

The player announced her retirement from professional football in August, following the USWNT’s shocking elimination from the World Cup in the round of 16. Though she expected not to boast the American crest after the international tournament, the team honored Ertz with a “farewell game” for her contributions. 

 “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.”

Ertz will only join the September camp for the first of two friendlies against South Africa. 

She is set to conclude her career with 123 appearances for the U.S following her 2013 debut, scoring 20 goals and forming an integral part of the two World Cup-winning sides in 2015 and 2019. The midfielder recently played in her third World Cup, joining the 23-player roster for the 2023 tournament in New Zealand and Australia. 

Ertz previously teased the idea of hanging up her boots after the USWNT fell to Sweden in the Round of 16 on penalties, indicating it would “probably” be her last game sporting the crest. 

“As I have gotten older and become a mom, it’s clear the sacrifices of time away from my family no longer seem doable with so many factors at play,” Ertz said at the time of her announcement. 

“These girls gave me a gift I could never repay and l got to live out a dream I wish for everyone: falling in love with a sport you have played your whole life and getting to share it with your son. Representing this country on the National Team has been the greatest honor. To play for the USWNT means you chase greatness every day while you wear the crest. I hope that I was able to leave an impact that reflects that.”

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