United State women’s national team midfielder Julie Ertz is expected to join Angel City FC for the 2023 NWSL regular season per reports on Sunday night. Ertz recently made her return to the national team after a nearly two-year absence when she featured in two victories against Ireland during the USWNT’s international window but was previously unattached to a club team. While the deal is expected to happy, no paper work has been filed, so the deal is still pending league approval, according to additional reporting by The Athletic.
USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski has previously stated club play will be the final indicator for players making a push to crack the final roster for the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Ertz’s return to the pitch had previously been postponed after an MCL injury sustained in an NWSL game in May 2021, though she played in the Tokyo Olympics, she did not feature during the remainder of the 2021 NWSL season.
Her previous NWSL team, Chicago Red Stars, traded her player rights along with defender Sarah Gorden to Angel City FC in exchange for roster protection in the expansion draft. Ertz never played for the team after announcing she and her husband were expecting their first child. Following the birth of her son in August, and the conclusion of the 2022 season, Ertz was one of several players who were free agents in the first-ever free market period in the league.
Why Angel City FC?
Though several teams would welcome the star midfielder, Ertz is in need of playing time and matches ahead of the official World Cup roster being finalized. The 31-year-old has previously stated that she would announce a club team soon, and wants to get back into a training environment and play for a club as quickly as possible. Angel City FC is a team lacking midfielders and it’s a deal that makes sense for both parties. The World Cup roster will likely drop in June and there are over a dozen games for Angel City before the league’s deadline to release international players for the World Cup on June 26.
Angel City FC will host California rivals San Diego Wave FC on Sunday, April 23 at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles. If the club officially announces Ertz’s signing, she will be available for selection.