USWNT star Julie Ertz opens up on future with national team

Melbourne, Australia - United States stalwart Julie Ertz said she had probably played her last match for the women's national soccer team after their World Cup last-16 loss to Sweden on Sunday.

Julie Ertz of the United States looks dejected as the USWNT are knocked out of the 2023 Women's World Cup.
Julie Ertz of the United States looks dejected as the USWNT are knocked out of the 2023 Women's World Cup.  © REUTERS

The holders had been looking to be the first side to win the tournament three times in a row but instead went out at their earliest ever stage following a 5-4 penalty shoot-out defeat after a 0-0 draw in Melbourne.

"I think for me it is just emotional, because it is probably the last game ever being able to have the honor to wear this crest," Ertz (31) told FOX.

"It is just tough. It is just an emotional time. It absolutely sucks. Penalties are the worst."

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"But it is an honor to represent this team and I am excited for the future of the girls."

Sweden were bombarded for much of the game but the US could not force a goal, even after Megan Rapinoe came on for what turned out to be her last national team match.

The 38-year-old OL Reign forward, who missed a penalty in the shoot-out, will retire from all soccer at the end of the US domestic season in October or November.

"It has been an honor," she said.

The shoot-out went to sudden death and ended in dramatic fashion as Linda Hurtig's kick was seemingly saved by US keeper Alyssa Naeher, only for technology to rule it had just gone over the line.

"We just lost the World Cup by a millimeter," the keeper said.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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