Two-time Women’s World Cup winner and two-time Olympian Julie Ertz will play her final soccer game on the United States women’s national soccer team this week after announcing last month that she will be retiring. The 31-year-old has had an impressive career and her husband, Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz, could not be more proud of her. In a video created by the Cardinals, Zach congratulated his wife on her successful soccer career. “Julie, you’ve given your everything to this game,” said Ertz. “You’ve won at the highest levels and have done it with grace, commitment, passion and courage. Madden and I couldn’t be more proud of what you’ve done, and more important, who you are.”
Congratulations on an unbelievable career, @julieertz ❤️??
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) September 21, 2023
The video began showing highlights of her career, where Ertz continued to praise his wife. “I think everyone has seen your career, and you’ve reached the most amazing highs of your sport,” Ertz said. “Everyone sees the players of the year, the World Cup medals. I’ve seen the grind you’ve put in, the adversities you’ve faced. I’m just so proud to be your husband, to be your partner during this whole time. I hope you take this all in and truly can walk away from this game knowing you’ve given each and every part of your being, your soul, to be the best version of yourself. To be the best teammate you can be, and you have no regrets when you walk away from this thing. We’re so proud of you, and we love you.”
The pair first met in 2012 while they were in college after being connected through mutual friends. Zach was playing football at Stanford University while Julie was playing soccer for Santa Clara University. The following year, they each signed contracts to play sports professionally, Zach with the Philadelphia Eagles and Julie with the Chicago Red Stars. They continued their relationship long-distance and in 2016, the pair got engaged. They tied the knot in 2017 and welcomed their first child, Madden, in August 2022. Ertz spoke with reporters about her choice to retire, saying motherhood was the main reason. “I do feel I could step away and be like, ‘It’s not because Momma can’t play. Momma can play. She has just adapted priorities.’” She added that spending time with her family is “just irreplaceable” and she wants to focus on it more.