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Julie Ertz makes NWSL return in Angel City loss to San Diego

(Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports)

Julie Ertz made her return to the NWSL with Angel City FC on Sunday in front of a sold-out crowd of 22,000 fans.

Her debut came less than a week after she signed with the club as a free agent. But while Ertz played a solid 71 minutes, she did not have a triumphant return, as Angel City lost 2-0 to the San Diego Wave.

“I’m so grateful to be here,” Ertz said. “I’m having so much fun playing with them. Obviously today is not the scoreline that we want, but to be able to put a performance together, having something that we can grow off of. … I hate losing so much, so it sounds weird, but I did have so much fun tonight.”

The match capped what Ertz called an “odd week,” as she revealed she had just one-and-a-half training sessions with the club before she took the pitch for the first time.

Still, her teammates know just how valuable Ertz will be moving forward. 

“It is a piece of the puzzle that is going to be so important to us moving forward,” captain Ali Riley said. “I hate losing but I don’t think the score reflected how we performed and I hope people see that. I truly believe that this is a turning point for us.”

The next part for Ertz is “putting a full 90 minutes together,” she said, and further developing her chemistry with the team.