- USWNT star Julie Ertz has played for the Chicago Red Stars, an NWSL club, since turning professional in 2014.
- In early December, Chicago replaced the 29-year-old midfielder with the Angel City expansion team.
- Ertz spoke to Insider about the trade with Los Angeles and her time back home in Arizona.
Always a professional soccer player, Julie Erts was the Chicago red star.
But if there’s one thing the NFL and US Women’s National Team star has learned during her eight years managing midfield at the highest levels of women’s soccer, it’s to “embrace new challenges in your career” because that’s how you “go on” “It grows.”
So when Ertz was traded from her old club in Chicago to a Los Angeles-based NWSL expansion franchise in early December, she was ready to adjust to the change — even if “it’s all still surreal, it all comes together” a few weeks later.
“Anytime someone thinks you can be useful and have an impact on their team, it’s an honor,” Ertz told Insider four days after the mega deal was announced. “And anyone who clearly thinks that you can come in and be useful is a huge person.”
“I am excited about the new franchise for what they have already accomplished, and what they want to do [do]and plans to do so.”
Ertz wasn’t the only big name used to help establish the new team – known for their star-studded squad – as a competitive force once they took the field for their inaugural season. Angel City brought in prolific USWNT striker Kristen Press as the team’s first signing in August, and Red Stars defender Sarah Jordan joined Ertz in a Chicago-to-Los Angeles deal in exchange for immunity in Thursday’s expansion draft.
In a recent interview with Insider, Julie Fode — a former USWNT captain and one of Angel City’s founding investors — said she was “overjoyed” to learn that the club had traded for Ertz. The analyst turned ESPN player described the trio of Ertz, Press and Gorden as the “workhorse of a team” with which to begin Angel City’s efforts.
“I am not surprised that Julie Fode would be incredibly excited, especially with the incredible striker represented by Bryce and the incredible defender that was Sarah [Gorden] It is,” said Ertz. Each of them is incredible. Obviously [Angel City is] A great start to that.”
But even Fode admitted that Erts “must come to play for Angel City” for the club’s grand plans to come to fruition.
“I hope that’s the case,” Foday added.
One of the main factors working in favor of Fodi and ACFC is the location of the club. Playing in Los Angeles would bring Ertz closer to her friends and family back home in Mesa, Arizona — and to her husband, Arizona Cardinals Zach Ertz — than she was while playing in Chicago.
“Being close to home and my family is always incredible,” said Ertz, who spent most of the fall at home with her husband while recovering from the injury.
“Throughout my career, I haven’t really been able to see or share moments or even holidays [my family]Ertz said. I feel like everyone feels it. Where you grow up is just a piece of you.”
With her deep roots in the area and her husband now fitting in with the area’s NFL franchise, Ertz is keen to give back to the community that has given her so much for so long. Ahead of the holiday, she and Zack teamed up with DICK’S Sporting Goods to surprise 15 local boys and girls on a sports-filled shopping spree.
“To be able to see these kids and also share the love of sports, to be able to give them a gift and have a smile on their face, it’s great wherever you are,” Ertz said. “But for some reason, it feels a little different at home.”