As Julie Ertz played in her final match for the U.S. women’s national team, teammates and legends took the time to share their appreciation for the retiring star.
Carli Lloyd, who played with Ertz from Ertz’s start with the national team in 2013 to her own retirement in 2021, reminisced about their offseason training sessions and mealtime chats in a social media post.
“What I love about you is that you just rolled your sleeves up every single day and competed,” Lloyd wrote. “Whether you were starting or coming off the bench, you would always do what the team needed and you could always be counted on. … You displayed what this team is all about and what mentality is needed to help the team be successful.”
While Mia Hamm’s time with the national team did not overlap with Ertz, the all-time great also applauded Ertz upon her retirement, writing on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter: “Thank you for all you have done for the team, the country and the game.”
💙 @julieertz pic.twitter.com/nwHRakkrNO— U.S. Women's National Soccer Team (@USWNT) September 22, 2023
💙 @julieertz pic.twitter.com/nwHRakkrNO
Ahead of Thursday’s 3-0 win against South Africa, which saw Ertz wear the captain’s armband for her swan song, her current teammates shared their memories in a series of videos posted to the USWNT’s social media accounts.
“What you do on and off the field, how you prepare yourself, how you approach the game, your mentality every single day in training, in games, in video, walking around with an iPad at all times — you just, you love it,” fellow midfielder Lindsey Horan said. “You love learning. You love working. And all of these things are such an inspiration to me.”
Alex Morgan praised Ertz’s tenacity and courage, while Alyssa Naeher highlighted her passion and emotion. And Crystal Dunn shared their parallel journeys with the national team.
“You and I have stepped onto this team pretty much at the same exact time,” Dunn said. “We got our caps at the same time. You’re somebody who shared a lot of similar moments and memories in our early stages of getting onto this team. And it’s been such a joy to be able to cheer you on.”