Mar 29, 2023
The U.S. women's national team's biggest hole tentatively and stunningly closed on Tuesday, when Julie Ertz was named to the USWNT's last pre-World Cup roster after nearly 20 months away from soccer.
Ertz, a two-time world champion who'd been a fearsome fixture in midfield, has not played for the USWNT since the Tokyo Olympics. In fact, it's been 600 days since she last played a competitive match of any kind. She gave birth to a son, Madden, in August 2022. She remains a free agent, without a professional club.
So her inclusion on a 26-woman roster for two April friendlies against Ireland, the USWNT's last games before the World Cup squad will be named in June, was somewhere between eye-opening and astonishing.
But head coach Vlatko Andonovski said that Ertz has been "training very hard" for months, with personal coaches and with a boys academy team. Andonovski had visited her in person, and said she "was up to the level [of] a lot of professional players." Medical staffs cleared her. Andonovski said that Ertz was "in negotiations with a team or teams" about a return to the NWSL, "and pretty soon I'm sure we'll have news on that front."
Source: Yahoo Sports