Julie Ertz reaches 1-year deal with Angel City FC ahead of World Cup

Julie Ertz is headed back to the National Women’s Soccer League.

The United States Women’s National Team midfielder and two-time Player of the Year reached a one-year deal with Angel City FC, the club announced Monday. It marks the latest step in Ertz’s comeback to professional soccer after she gave birth in August.

“I am so thrilled to be joining one of the most exciting clubs in the world in Angel City FC,” Ertz said in a statement. “From the moment they traded for my rights up until now, they have been unwavering in their support of my journey. I cannot wait to get to work with the team and finally experience the amazing game day atmosphere.”

Ertz last played in the NWSL with the Chicago Red Stars, who selected her with the No. 3 overall pick in 2014. She played in 95 matches with the club, scored six goals and helped lead them to seven straight playoff appearances. She hasn’t played in the NWSL since 2021.

Ertz has been a mainstay on the USWNT, too. She helped the United States win the World Cup in 2015 and 2019, and she won a bronze medal with the team at the Tokyo Olympics. She returned to the pitch with the USWNT earlier this month for the first time since the Games, and she played in half of the United States’ 1-0 win over Ireland on Tuesday. Ertz, 31, is gearing up to make the roster for the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand this summer.

“Julie is a world-class player who has proven herself time and again at both club and national team levels,” Angel City manager Freya Coombe said in a statement. “In addition to her quality on the ball, she will help us defend higher up the field and against opponent transition. Her leadership and World Cup and Olympic medal-winning experience will undoubtedly help us on our quest for a championship.”

Angel City FC is one of the newest teams in the NWSL. The club joined the league in 2022, along with San Diego Wave FC. The league already announced plans to expand to Utah and northern California in 2024, which will bring the number of teams in the league to 14.

Angel City currently sits 1-1-1 this season following a 2-2 draw with Racing Louisville FC on Saturday. They will take on the OL Reign on Wednesday. It’s unclear when Ertz, whose husband is Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz, will make her debut with the club.

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