Ahead of the United States women’s national team’s upcoming friendlies against Ireland next month, a surprising but welcome name appeared on group’s latest roster: two-time World Cup champion Julie Ertz.
Ertz, who last played for the USWNT at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, was named to Vlatko Andonovski's final 26-player training camp roster on Tuesday. The group will make up the last roster before the final squad for the 2023 World Cup is revealed in the coming months.
The news of Ertz’s addition to the roster comes as quite a surprise, given that she was left off the the squad for the first two training camps of the year due to a foot injury. She also gave birth to a baby boy last August, her first child with husband and NFL tight end Zach Ertz.
Ertz, 30, is currently without an NWSL team which had cast doubt on her addition to the World Cup squad as recently as last month
“Another person that hasn’t been in camp for a while, Julie Ertz, is someone that, obviously we see she hasn't committed to a [NWSL team] so far,” Andonovski said on Feb. 1 during his announcement of the SheBelieves Cup roster, per Fox Sports. “And time is running out pretty much for her and she’s someone that we’re probably not going to be able to count on in the World Cup.”
Ertz has been a valuable piece in the midfield for the USWNT for the last decade and was a part of both World Cup squads that won the title in 2015 and ‘19. She’s played in 59 international matches for the United States and made 55 starts dating back to ‘14, tallying four goals and four assists in those appearances.
Now set to re-join the squad ahead of April 8 and April 11 friendlies against Ireland, Ertz will be one of five mothers on the USWNT roster, joining Casey Krueger, Crystal Dunn, Adrianna Franch and Alex Morgan.
Here’s a look at the full, 26-player squad:
Goalkeepers: Adrianna Franch (Kansas City Current), Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars).
Defenders: Alana Cook (OL Reign), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Fox (North Carolina Courage), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Casey Krueger (Chicago Red Stars), Kelley O'Hara (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Sonnett (OL Reign).
Midfielders: Julie Ertz (Unattached), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyonnais), Taylor Kornieck (San Diego Wave FC), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign), Kristie Mewis (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit).
Forwards: Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), Mallory Swanson (Chicago Red Stars), Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC).