Julie Ertz is facing a ticking clock.
The midfielder was called up to the U.S. women’s national team for the team’s friendlies against Ireland, marking the first time her name featured on a roster since the Tokyo Olympics in August 2021. The selection surprised many, including USWNT legend Julie Foudy.
“I was like, wait a second. We need to talk about that!” she said on the latest episode of Snacks.
But Ertz coming back to the USWNT ranks doesn’t automatically assure her of a spot on the roster for this summer’s World Cup. While the team is in desperate need of help in the midfield, there’s no guarantee that Ertz will be ready in time for the tournament in Australia and New Zealand.
April will provide the first test for Ertz, who has been training with an MLS Academy boys’ team in the lead-up to this camp.
“I had a chance to see some of the training,” USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski said, noting that it helped with the decision to call her up in this camp. “She trained with a personal high-performance coach, or personal technical coach, and was up to the level that a lot of professional players were training, or sometimes even harder.”
Still, Andonovski has emphasized the importance for all players of seeing time on the field with a professional club before being considered for the World Cup roster. And Foudy wants to see what Ertz can do in a club environment with as time ticks down before the World Cup.
“Well one, she’s gotta get with a club. I know she’s in the process of doing that,” Foudy said. “And two, she hasn’t played for two years. So, not a lot of time.
“I mean, I think she’d be a great addition to have if she’s fit and ready to go, for sure. But, it’ll be interesting to see how she looks.”
The good news is that Ertz should be joining a team soon. She’s currently a free agent, with her rights last being held by Angel City FC.
“I’m in communication with a few teams and hope to finalize it soon,” she said during Tuesday’s media availability. “I think the love for the game is hard to step away from, so I wanted to make sure I was strong enough to be myself in my return.”