Julie Ertz surprisingly returns to the USWNT for international friendlies ahead of the World Cup buildup, playing professionally for the first time since 2021 after giving birth last year.
Julie Ertz has been named to the US squad for her next two matches against Ireland after taking time out for the birth of her son.
Ertz has not played for the United States since their bronze medal victory over Australia at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
She and her husband, Zach Ertz, who plays for the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, welcomed son Madden, last August.
Ertz was among the 26 players named on the list announced by coach Vlatko Andonovski on Tuesday.
The United States will play Ireland for the first time on April 7 in Austin, Texas, before the second game on April 11 in St. Louis. It’s the last international matches for the United States before Andonovski named his 23-man squad for this summer’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Julie Ertz was named to the USWNT roster after taking time off for the birth of her son
Ertz and her husband, Arizona Cardinals TZack, gave birth to their first child, Madden, in late August
Ertz trains with the boys’ team from the MLS Academy as well as personal trainers while out
Defender Casey Krueger, who plays for the Chicago Red Stars, also returns. She took time off for the birth of her son this past July. Kelly O’Hara, who hasn’t played since last year’s World Cup qualifiers, is also back in the squad.
Ertz, 30, was one of the US teams that won the World Cups in 2015 and 2019 and is the only player on the list who is not currently playing for a professional club. Andonofsky said she is currently negotiating with the teams.
“It is very exciting to be back with the team again and I am grateful for the opportunity. I have to think through the details in terms of the club situation but I am very grateful to Zach, my family and American football for the incredible support they have given me in getting me back to this point.
I’ve been training hard, and I’m excited to see where I am physically and to get better every day. I’m going to this camp the same way I always do, to compete with the best women in the world.
Andonovsky said Ertz has been training with a boys’ team from the MLS Academy as well as personal trainers.
“She’s committed to the game, she’s committed to this team, and when I say she’s committed, I mean she’s absolutely committed in every aspect of it,” Andonovsky said during a conference call with reporters.
She is physically ready, mentally ready, excited to get back into the environment and, most importantly, feels confident that she can help this team win another title – and for me, that’s the most important thing.”
Missed from the roster was veteran Megan Rapinoe, who sustained a calf injury.
goalkeepers: Adrianna Franch (Kansas City Current), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Allyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars).
The Defenders: Alana Cook (OL Reign), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Casey Krueger (Chicago ) Red Stars), Kelly O’Hara (NJ / New York Gotham), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns), Emily Sonette (OL Reign).
midfielders: Julie Ertz (Free Agent), Lindsey Horan (Olympic Lyon), Taylor Kornic (San Diego Wave), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Christy Mewes (New Jersey / NY Gotham), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit), Andy Sullivan ( Washington (spirit).
attackers: Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Mallory Swanson (Chicago Red Stars), Len Williams (NJ / New York Gotham).
Kelly O’Hara has also been called up to the squad after not playing since last year’s World Cup qualifiers