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Angel City coach: Julie Ertz ‘not crazily at peace’ with retirement

(Jessica Alcheh/USA TODAY Sports)

USWNT star Julie Ertz announced her retirement from soccer Thursday, bringing an end to her short tenure with Angel City FC.

Still, her departure prompted an outpouring of love from the soccer community, and that included Angel City interim head coach Becki Tweed. The team is “grateful” for what Ertz gave in her couple of months with the club, Tweed said.

“I think what she’s done for the game has been incredible,” she added.

Still, the decision to retire, Tweed thinks, was “incredibly hard” for Ertz. After all, the 31-year-old midfielder is retiring near the top of her game, having made a surprise return to the USWNT for the World Cup – and being one of the few U.S. stars who put on an outstanding performance while there, even playing outside of her usual position.

“I know that she’s not crazily at peace with it,” Tweed said. “But again, she’s an all-in person and she has soccer, she has family, she has a child. I think we all respect that decision, and we’re really grateful and thankful for her recovery and what she’s done for the sport.”

Ertz’s husband, Zach Ertz, plays for the Arizona Cardinals, and Arizona also is Ertz’s home state. In her announcement, Ertz said that while the past six months “have been a dream come true,” she’s excited for the next phase of her life.

“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,” she wrote.

While a knee injury and then pregnancy had kept her sidelined for a year and a half following the 2021 Olympics, she returned to both the NWSL and the national team in April 2023. She played in eight matches for Angel City, starting seven of them, and she scored one goal for the club.

“She will always be a part of the Angel City family and we wish her the best,” Tweed said. “We will definitely miss her, but respect everything that she’s done for the game and her incredible career. [We] couldn’t be more happy that she could go out and be with her family.”