Red Stars Captain Wins the Award for a Second Time
CHICAGO (Dec. 13, 2018) – In a year in which she proved to be one of the most impactful players in all of women’s soccer, USWNT and Chicago Red Stars midfielder Julie Ertz has been voted the 2019 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year.
“It’s been a whirlwind of a year and one that I’m extremely grateful for,” said Ertz to U.S. Soccer. “My team lifted me up in so many ways and our experiences on and off the field in 2019 just encapsulate the love I have for the National Team and for wearing this crest and what it represents.”
In 2019, Ertz started 22 games for the USA, the most on the team, and her 1,755 minutes played were third-most on the team. She was a key member of the U.S. WNT’s World Cup-winning squad where she played in six of the seven matches. Ertz scored her first career World Cup goal against Chile in a group stage game, a beautiful headed goal assisted by fellow Red Stars teammate Tierna Davidson. Ertz and the rest of the U.S. defense only conceded three goals the entire tournament and shutout the Netherlands in the World Cup Final.
Ertz continued her terrific run of form for Chicago. She played every minute in her 14 starts for the Red Stars this season as team captain. Ertz provided a late game-tying assist against Portland in April and maintained a 72.3% pass success rate. Defensively, she and the Red Stars defense allowed only two goals in the final five games of the regular season and clinched a fifth-consecutive semifinal appearance. Against Portland in the semifinal, Ertz and the defense stifled the Thorns’ offense in a 1-0 win that clinched Chicago’s first-ever NWSL Championship appearance.
Ertz was no stranger to accolades following a stellar 2019. She was named to the first-ever FIFPro World XI in September. This month, she ranked 11th in The Guardian’s Top 100 Footballers list and was named Time Magazine’s Athlete of the Year along with her U.S. WNT Teammates. In the NWSL, Ertz was named to the league’s Best XI for the second time in her career.
The U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year has been awarded since 1985 when midfielder Sharon Remer earned the first Female Athlete of the Year honor.
Votes for U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year awards are collected from respective National Team coaches, National Team players who earned a cap in 2019, members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, U.S. Soccer Athletes’ Council, National Women’s Soccer League head coaches, select media members, and former players and administrators. In addition, select college coaches vote for U.S. Soccer’s Female Player of the Year award.