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USWNT's Julie Ertz makes stunning return to pre-World Cup roster after 20 months away

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

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