Chicago Red Stars defender Julie Ertz experienced a meteoric rise this season. Whether for club or country, the 25 year old was simply phenomenal. Her incredible performances and sustained form earned Ertz the right to be called US Soccer’s Female Player of the Year for 2017.
This isn’t the first time the Arizona native received a prestigious award from U.S. Soccer. The central defender has the unique distinction of being the third player to be named the US Soccer Female Player of the Year and Young Female Player of the Year.
Ertz captured Young Female Player of the Year in 2012 when she captained the United States to the U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup title. She also received the Bronze Ball for being the third best player in the tournament.
“JJ” underwent an evolution in 2017 as she converted to defensive midfielder during the Tournament of Nations. The United States were impressive with Ertz in the lineup as the Red, White & Blue went 7-0-1 with Ertz in the lineup.
Her best performance came July 30th against Brazil during the Tournament of Nations in San Diego, CA. The United States were down on the scoreboard with time ticking away, but Ertz came on in the 57th minute to steal the game for the United States. Her 89th minute goal completed an impressive comeback for the United States as they would win the game by the score of 4-3.
Johnston or Ertz, 2017 belonged to Julie. @julieertz is your #USWNT Player of the Year » https://t.co/TBYDamp0Ah pic.twitter.com/h0bVCigrZT— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) December 20, 2017
ver·sa·tile— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) December 20, 2017
1️⃣ able to adapt to many different functions or activities
2️⃣ @julieertz in 2017 pic.twitter.com/PZDWVMwFss
Her run of form continued for club as well, as JJ played all but 48 minutes for the Red Stars across 22 of 24 matches. She scored four goals and had three assists as Chicago made it to the NWSL semifinal. Unfortunately the Red Stars were eliminated at the hand of the North Carolina Courage.
It will be fun to watch Ertz continue to grow and evolve in 2018. Can she finally push the Red Stars through to an NWSL Championship? Stay tuned.