Julie Johnston Ertz
Julie Ertz: Julie Beth Ertz (née Johnston; born April 6, 1992) is an American soccer player for the Chicago Red Stars of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), the highest division of women’s professional soccer in the United States, and the United States women’s national soccer team. She first appeared for the United States national team during an international friendly against Scotland on February 9, 2013. She has since made 91 total appearances for the team and scored 19 goals.
Ertz played collegiate soccer with the Santa Clara University Broncos from 2010 to 2013. Following her collegiate career, Ertz was selected third overall by the Chicago Red Stars in the 2014 NWSL College Draft that took place on January 17, 2014. Ertz has represented the United States at two FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments in 2015 and 2019. At 23, she was the second-youngest member of the 2015 team behind 22-year-old Morgan Brian. The United States went on to the World Cup final where she played every minute of all seven games of the tournament and was subsequently named to the FIFA Women’s World Cup All-Star Team.
The world got its first look at Julie Ertz during the 2015 World Cup: the Chicago Red Stars defender, NWSL Rookie of the Year, and 23-year-old starting center back was a dominant ball-winner in the U.S.’s run to the title. Coming into the 2019 World Cup, Ertz is no longer the rookie. So whether she’s playing as a back or a holding midfielder, she is sure to be an absolute force.
Julie Ertz will tell you how young she was during the last World Cup. “Going in, I was so naïve—everything was so new to me. I had no expectations,” says Ertz. It was a contrast to how she felt going into the 2016 Olympics. “I did have expectations.” Which made it all the more painful when the U.S. suffered their earliest Olympic exit ever. “It was a horrible heartbreak that I’d never had before,” says Ertz. In no way does she feel like she’s coming off a World Cup victory. “It feels like we’re coming off a loss. This year, with the chance to beat Sweden, I definitely have a chip on my shoulder now. Last round, I had nothing to lose. This time, it feels like I have everything to lose.”
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Julie and her husband, Zach Ertz, a tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles, started the Ertz Family Foundation—a charity that creates opportunities for children in sports and education. “Sports helped me to grow. Without them, I probably wouldn’t have been able to go to college. I couldn’t afford it. You never know how many opportunities come up through sports—they changed my life.” Now, she’s looking to use sports to change others’ lives, and the pair have used their foundation to do everything from creating scholarships for kids in Haiti to developing an SAT-prep and college readiness program for athletes at a high school in Richmond, CA.
Julie Johnston Ertz
Personal: Daughter of David and Kristi Johnson…Has one sister, Melanie…In 2014, signed her first professional contract with the Chicago Red Stars after being selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the NWSL Draft…Nicknames are “JJ” or “Jules”…Interests include running, hiking, rock climbing, fishing, cycling, gardening, photography, cooking and baking, fashion, yoga, Pilates and reading. The Philadelphia Eagles officially opened training camp on Thursday, and for the first time in a long time, Zach Ertz is not the biggest sports story in his own family.
Seventeen months after the Pro Bowler scored the go-ahead touchdown in the Eagles’ first-ever Super Bowl victory, he’ll be working out of the shadow of his wife.
Julie Ertz, the 27-year-old midfielder, has kept track of her and Zach’s career accomplishments since the two got married in March 2017. They’re competitive people (shocker), so the list helps them see who’s “winning” more. And after Julie helped propel the U.S. women’s national team to itsearlier this month, Zach’s Lombardi Trophy started to look a little lackluster. “I mean, our tallies are mostly, like, card games,” Julie says with a laugh. “I’d say I’m on top, but you’d never get him to admit it.”
Truth be told, it’s not really Julie vs. Zach in the Ertz household. It’s Julie and Zach. Their shared competitive streak is a central part of the marriage, not to mention their respective careers. But anyone who’s ever encountered the two knows better than to pit them against each other. After certain headlines during the Women’s World Cup referred to Julie only as “Zach Ertz’s wife,” the Eagles star rocked a USWNT jersey with “Mr. Ertz” on the back. He then wrote “A freaking baller and her husband” as a caption to a photo with Julie.
Julie Ertz hot
It goes deeper than that, though. Zach and Julie are there for each other even when, physically, they are not. As ESPN’s Tim McManus reported, the couple is often separated for months at a time — Zach planting himself in Philly and Julie often residing in Chicago, where she plays for the Red Stars of the National Women’s Soccer League.
“I talk to him all day, from the second I wake up,” Julie says. “Usually gamedays, in the morning, are uneventful for me, so I just kind of relax until meetings. But we FaceTime on the bus every single time before I get there, then he just sends me a text when I have to go: ‘Go dominate.’ I say, ‘Love you, bye,’ and that’s that.”
Like competition in general, sports are an obvious connector for the family. Zach traveled to France to watch the USA win it all. Julie traveled to Minnesota to watch the Eagles win it all. Both have admitted being more nervous watching their spouses than playing in their championships.
Julie has ensured her USWNT teammates “are definitely huge Zach fans,” even if there are “some that I have to convince more than others to root for the Eagles.”
When they’re together, they even take turns trying each other’s sports.
“I’m good at football without having to get tackled by him,” Julie says. “But Zach’s also a really good keeper. He’s good with his hands, obviously, and he takes up most of the goal.”
Their togetherness doesn’t end on the soccer and football fields, though., the 2019 USWNT made waves not only for historic scoring, elite depth, and clutch heroics but for community activism along the way. USWNT captain Megan Rapinoe famously sparred with U.S. President Donald Trump over perceived inequalities in America, and the entire team has asking for pay equal to the U.S. men’s national team.
“I think it’s amazing, the power that sports have,” she said. “For me, with our team, the main goal is to try and grow women’s sports and grow soccer, in general, in the U.S. Just to be a part of that, to give those opportunities to young girls who want to be in our shoes, to leave the game better than when we found it, is a huge goal for us. Any time you can help do that, that’s world-class.”
The Women’s World Cup final victory has already spiked interest in the NWSL, spawning major sponsorship and TV deals for the women’s league.
But Julie’s mission, when coupled with Zach’s, goes even further. Both of them have books out with Harvest House Publishers this year. They’re geared toward kids and preteens, coinciding with their Ertz Family Foundation’s work to build up needy families at home and abroad. And both present deeper questions — questions that Julie herself says she has wrestled alongside her husband over the years.
Zach and Julie Ertz
“For me, it was like, sports was everything,” she said. “It’s who I was. But what happens when adversity hits, or you get self-doubt? I think it’s so funny because you read things like, ‘I can just let it go,’ but it’s also OK to share your scars. We’ve all been there. You’re not alone. When you watch on Sunday, or game day, you watch me play, but maybe you don’t know my story or my thoughts on the character.”
In “Chase Your Dreams,” Julie’s book, she shares exactly that. She highlights humility over stardom and faith over fame, echoing sentiments often touted by Zach and some of his high-profile Eagles teammates in recent years.
“I think the time has really allowed us to reflect,” she said. “We’ve both been in our careers for seven, eight years now, and obviously when you’re young, sometimes that fades your vision of the bigger picture. It really helps now, with Zach being my support, asking us to reflect. When you’re in it, you’re going, going, going and forget to see where you’re at.” Now, Julie sees where she’s at and remembers to ask herself: “Where do you put your identity?”
She hopes the next generation does the same. And she’s got a husband who’s right there with her.
What is Julie Ertz’s number?
How much does Zach Ertz make a year?
2016. On January 25, 2016, the Philadelphia Eagles signed Ertz to a five-year, $42.5 million contract extension that includes $21 million guaranteed and an $8 million signing bonus.