In Julie Ertz’s Own Words: “I Believe In This Team”
“I left to play soccer at Santa Clara University. That’s when I just fell in love with the game. Even more than I could ever imagine. In 2012, I went with the U20 team to Japan for the world championships. I captained the team and that just put the sport into a whole new light for me.
The girls on our team were so incredible, and just that feeling of wearing your nation’s colors — especially being so far from home — was amazing. And, oh yeah, we won the whole thing, too! To win a championship, at any level, there’s no beating that. It’s addictive, too. When the buzz of the win starts to wear off, I was sort of just like, I’ve gotta ... do that again. Soon. Because, above all else, you don’t take any of it for granted.
There’s hard work, and there’s highs and lows and everything in between before those final 90 minutes.
I think some people, outside of our National Team, look at our squad and think we’re going to have a chance to win just by showing up to the world championships. But the margins are so thin — every session, every drill, every tactical lesson matters. That’s what I learned when I got the call to my first camp in 2013. There’s a focus in our team this year, too, that I remember seeing before the championships in 2015 — a belief, you could call it. It’s similar to one of my favorite mottos:
I always come back to that. Because any team is just, of course, a collection of individuals. But we’re all different. That’s what makes us strong. And we’re heading to France this summer on a mission. I can’t wait to get there. I want to see the stadiums. I want to see our fans. I want to hear the Star-Spangled Banner on the world stage again.
Every time I hear the anthem play before our matches, no matter if it’s a friendly, or a final, I feel the same thing every time: Gratefulness. I’m grateful to my dad, my mom and my sister. My husband, Zach, our friends and family for playing a role in my life. And just as important, I think, I’m grateful for the opportunity to wear the red, white and blue and represent our country. Toward the end of the anthem, I look at the fans, start to shake my legs out a bit and get ready to go.
Then the anthem ends, and it’s time to believe.”
Dream With Us
Dream with Julie and the entire U.S. National Team during this summer’s championship tourney in their latest fan gear.