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‘I can walk away with no regrets’: US soccer great Julie Ertz announces retirement

Two-time Women’s World Cup winner Julie Ertz, one of the greats of US soccer, has announced her retirement from the sport.

Ertz, 31, was an integral member of the US teams which won the Women’s World Cup in 2015 and 2019. She represented the US National Women’s Team (USWNT) on 122 occasions, losing just five matches and scoring 20 goals during her 10-year international career.

She made her senior international debut in 2013 and went on to play in 17 World Cup matches, winning 13 of those.

Initially playing for the US as a center-back, she became one of the finest defensive midfielders of her generation and was one of the US’ standout performers as it successfully defended the World Cup in France four years ago.

Posting on social media, Ertz said: “With immense emotion and processing, I’ve decided it is time to hang up the boots.

“Representing this country on the National Team has been the greatest honor. To play for the USWNT means you chase greatness every day while you wear the crest. I hope that I was able to leave an impact that reflects that.”

The former Chicago Red Stars player is the only person to win the US Soccer Young Female Player of the Year and the US Soccer Female Player of the Year awards twice, according to US Soccer.

“I gave everything I had to the sport that I love. With that I can walk away with no regrets because while I gave soccer every ounce of myself, soccer gave me even more, and for that I’ll always be thankful,” Ertz said via US Soccer.

Following the birth of her son Madden in August 2022, Ertz returned to the sport, signing for National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) side Angel City in April and featuring for the US at this year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

After the US’ surprise defeat to Sweden in the round of 16 last month, Ertz had indicated that it would likely be her final international match.

“These past 6 months have been a dream come true,” she added on social media. “After pregnancy, I never knew if I had a chance to play the beautiful game again, let alone another World Cup. Angel City was a huge reason any of this was a possibility …

“The logistics of not living in an NWSL market is challenging, and I know the sacrifices it takes to be the best you can be. As I have gotten older and become a mom, it’s clear the sacrifices of time away from my family no longer seem doable with so many factors at play.

“… It truly is a blessing to walk away from this game knowing I’ve given everything I possibly had to being the best player I could be.”

This post appeared first on cnn.com

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