Julie Ertz signs with Angel City FC after two-year NWSL hiatus

Julie Ertz returns to the NWSL after a two-year hiatus, joining Angel City on a one-year contract.

Though the expansion team originally traded Ertz’s playing rights in 2022, she arrives now as a free agent. 

“Julie is a world-class player who has proven herself time and again at both club and national team levels,” Angel City coach Freya Coombe said in a statement. “In addition to her quality on the ball, she will help us defend higher up the field and against opponent transition. Her leadership and World Cup and Olympic medal-winning experience will undoubtedly help us on our quest for a championship.”

Ertz last featured in the NWSL on May 21, 2021, playing with the Chicago Red Stars before suffering an injury to her right knee. The player was then sidelined, before taking time off for the birth of her son. But she’s now back for club and country, after recently featuring in the USWNT’s exhibition game against Ireland in April. 

“I feel like I am in a good place to come back now. I have a different perspective. It has been a joy to be a mom and learn my new identity in motherhood while also finding myself back in a space [soccer] that I have been in for so long,” Ertz added. 

The Red Stars traded her rights to Angel City in late 2021, but Ertz did not end up playing for the club due to her pregnancy. Out of contract, Ertz became a free agent at the end of the 2022 campaign. 

“I am so thrilled to be joining one of the most exciting clubs in the world in Angel City FC,” said Ertz. “From the moment they traded for my rights up until now, they have been unwavering in their support of my journey. I cannot wait to get to work with the team and finally experience the amazing game day atmosphere.”

Now that Ertz signed with Angel City, she can technically make the USWNT World Cup roster. Though the competition for a slot is heavy, Ertz comes in as a veteran after inspiring the American side to success in the 2015 and 2019 editions of the international tournament.