Julie Ertz on her final USWNT match: ‘Really good ending to say bye’

Julie Ertz played her final match with the United States women’s national team on Thursday night against South Africa, earning a 3-0 victory in what the player described as a “really good ending to say bye.”

She concludes her international career with 123 appearances for the U.S following her 2013 debut, scoring 20 goals and forming an integral part of the two World Cup-winning sides in 2015 and 2019. The midfielder recently played in her third and final World Cup, joining the 23-player roster for the 2023 tournament in New Zealand and Australia. 

But before hanging up her boots, the midfielder offered advice for those who wish to follow her path. 

“Obviously this is a monumental game for me. I’m beyond grateful to represent this crest for as long as I have. To any girl out there who dreams to be here, it’s worth it. Every part of it. I’ve enjoyed every part of this journey that I’ve have, and you guys are a big part of that. … I love this sport so much and I’m grateful to be part of the U.S. Soccer family,” she said. 

“Really excited that we scored kind of right before [I was subbed]. It just felt like a really good ending to say bye. I’ve always known I loved the sport, and in that moment, the 35 minutes left that I was blessed to have, I just could just feel it. I could feel how much I loved it. I’m so grateful.”

Ertz made an immense impact on the USWNT and players around her, inspiring Lynn Williams to describe her work ethic as “incredible”.

“She directs people every second, every moment on the field. She just shows by her work rate and her dedication to the game. We joke about it in the camp, but she’s always holding an iPad and always studying, always learning,” Williams told TNT.

“Even this morning she was doing it and we were like, ‘Julie, you’re retiring. It doesn’t matter anymore.’ But just her preparation, her dedication, and her willingness to put everything on the line for us, it’s incredible.”

Ertz previously teased the idea of hanging up her boots after the USWNT fell to Sweden in the Round of 16 on penalties, indicating it would “probably” be her last game sporting the crest. 

“As I have gotten older and become a mom, it’s clear the sacrifices of time away from my family no longer seem doable with so many factors at play,” Ertz said.

“These girls gave me a gift I could never repay and l got to live out a dream I wish for everyone: falling in love with a sport you have played your whole life and getting to share it with your son. Representing this country on the National Team has been the greatest honor. To play for the USWNT means you chase greatness every day while you wear the crest. I hope that I was able to leave an impact that reflects that.”

The midfielder kicked off her professional career in 2014, after being drafted as the third overall pick of the NWSL College draft by the Chicago Red Stars. She featured for the team for seven years before taking a quick hiatus from football and returning in 2023 with Angel City FC.

Euro 2024 fixtures today – your guide to Monday’s games

There may be only five Euro 2024 qualifiers taking place on Monday, but there are still some pivotal clashes to keep an eye on.

Robert Page’s Wales are back in competitive action, while perennial overachievers Croatia also take to the field in Group D.

Meanwhile, there are three games taking place in Group J, including a 202nd international appearance for Cristiano Ronaldo as Portugal look to continue their good form under Roberto Martinez.

Here is everything you need to know ahead of Monday’s European qualifiers.

All times are BST.

Armenia vs Croatia – 17:00

Bruno Petkovic, Andrej KramaricBruno Petkovic, Andrej Kramaric

Croatia breezed past Latvia / Pixsell/MB Media/GettyImages

Croatia are the clear favourites to qualify from Group D and remain unbeaten in their opening three qualifying matches. An underwhelming draw with Wales was followed up by wins against Turkey and most recently Latvia, putting Croatia back in control of the group as they have two games in hand on first-placed Turkey and sit just three points behind.

Armenia will be no pushovers, though. They also have seven points, albeit from four games, with a late Turkey equaliser in Friday’s 1-1 draw potentially a big blow to their qualification chances. Getting something from their clash with Croatia is pivotal.


TV channel/live stream

United Kingdom

Viaplay Sports 1

United States

Fox Sports 2, Foxsports.com, fuboTV, ViX

Latvia vs Wales – 19:45

Aaron RamseyAaron Ramsey

Wales were held to a goalless draw by South Korea / Clive Rose/GettyImages

Wales boss Page admitted he hadn’t wanted to play Thursday’s friendly with South Korea, something perhaps reflected in the 0-0 scoreline. Having said that, Page did field a strong team that included the likes of Brennan Johnson, Harry Wilson and Ben Davies, but Wales failed to find a winner.

Given Wales’ difficult start to their Euro 2024 qualifying group and the immense pressure Page is under in the managerial hot-seat, a win away at Latvia is absolutely crucial. The Gareth Bale-less era has got off to a rocky start and, despite a surprise draw with Croatia and narrow win over Latvia in their first two matches, emphatic defeats to Armenia and Turkey have put Wales in a tough position.

Wales currently sit fourth on four points, six points off group leaders Turkey with a game in hand.


TV channel/live stream

United Kingdom

S4C, S4C Red Button, BBC iPlayer, Viaplay Sports 1

United States

fuboTV, ViX

Iceland vs Bosnia & Herzegovina – 19:45

Edin DzekoEdin Dzeko

Bosnia & Herzegovina have made a poor start to their qualification group / Gualter Fatia/GettyImages

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s victory over Liechtenstein has given them some hope of salvaging what has been a disappointing qualification campaign so far. Their surprisingly narrow win over the minnows has pushed them to fourth, three points ahead of Monday’s opponents Iceland.

Iceland have also found life tough in Group J, winning one and losing four of their five group games. A disheartening 3-1 defeat away at Luxembourg has all but eliminated any slim hopes they had of qualifying for Euro 2024.

The reverse fixture between the two nations will give Bosnia and Herzegovina plenty of confidence heading into Monday’s clash having swept Iceland aside in a 3-0 victory back in March.


TV channel/live stream

United Kingdom

Not available

United States

fuboTV, ViX

Portugal vs Luxembourg – 19:45

Bruno FernandesBruno Fernandes

Fernandes scored the winner against Slovakia / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Portugal have all but qualified for Euro 2024 with Friday’s 1-0 win over Slovakia maintaining their 100% record in Group J. Bruno Fernandes’ first-half strike made it five wins on the bounce and moved Portugal five points clear of Slovakia in second.

Cristiano Ronaldo will be hoping to add to his impressive tally against Luxembourg on Monday having scored 11 in as many matches against the side currently sat in third. Luxembourg shouldn’t cause Portugal too many problems given Ronaldo and co put six past them in the reverse fixture.


TV channel/live stream

United Kingdom

Viaplay Sports 2

United States

Fox Sports 2, Foxsports.com, fuboTV, ViX

Slovakia vs Liechtenstein – 19:45

Milan SkriniarMilan Skriniar

Skriniar will captain Slovakia against Liechtenstein / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Probably not a clash that is going to set pulses racing, but it will be a significant one in Group J. Slovakia should be comfortable victors – Liechtenstein have lost all five of their matches with a -15 goal difference and are also the second-lowest ranked European side in the FIFA rankings – but Francesco Calzona’s side still can’t afford any complacency.

Slovakia have put themselves in a strong position to qualify with ten points from their first five games, but Friday’s defeat to Portugal means this is an absolute must-win.


TV channel/live stream

United Kingdom

Not available

United States

Fox Soccer Plus, fuboTV, ViX


Luis Rubiales confirms he’s resigned from Spanish FA president role

Luis Rubiales has confirmed that he has resigned as Spanish FA president after non-consensually kissing Jenni Hermoso during the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

Rubiales kissed Hermoso on the lips during the medal ceremony honouring Spain’s Women’s World Cup final win over England, with the player immediately stating after the game that she “didn’t like it”. Since the RFEF president had tried to keep hold of his position and had long refused to resign despite huge pressure to do so.

Hermoso even confirmed that Rubiales and the RFEF had asked her to make a statement with her teammates in order to alleviate pressure on the president, and that the RFEF has attempted to coerce her friends and family to force Hermoso into making a statement backing Rubiales.

The World Cup winner filed a legal complaint against Rubiales on Tuesday, and he was also recently suspended by FIFA and called out by Spain’s men’s national team for the inexplicable non-consensual kiss he gave Hermoso.

Now, Rubiales has finally confirmed his resignation from the RFEF, writing in a statement: “After the suspension from FIFA, plus all the other proceedings opened against me, it’s evident that I cannot go back to my position.

“Insisting on waiting and holding on will not contribute anything positive, not to the federation nor to Spanish football.

“I am making this decision after assuring my exit would contribute to the stability that will allow Europe and Africa to stay unite in the dream of 2030, that will allow to bring the biggest event in the world to our country.

“I have faith in the truth and I am going to do everything in my power so it prevails. The people who love me have suffered the effects of an excessive persecution, as well as many lies, but it is true that I’m the street, more everyday, the truth is being shown.”

In an interview with Piers Morgan filmed on Sunday evening, Rubiales confirmed that he made the decision to resign after talking with his family, revealing:

“[Talking with] my father, my daughters, and I spoke with them. I also spoke with some friends who are close to me. They said ‘Luis you have to focus on your dignity, to continue your life, because otherwise you are probably going to damage people that you love, the sport you love and the bid [2030 World Cup bid] that you built’.

“This was not just a question about me. This can also affect important third parties. In that situation, [resigning] is the intelligent thing to do.”


Jurgen Klopp considered a top candidate for Germany job

The DFB consider Jurgen Klopp to be one of the main candidates to take over the vacant German national team head coach job, 90min understands.

Hansi Flick became the first Germany manager ever to be sacked following a disastrous 4-1 defeat to Japan on Saturday evening. Flick had overseen a bitterly disappointing World Cup campaign, in which Germany failed to make it out of the group stages, and a run of five games without a win since March.

Heading into a home Euro 2024 next summer, Germany are now keen to replace Flick with a top tier manager, and sources have confirmed to 90min that Klopp is considered to be one of their top choices for the vacant position.

The DFB are so enamoured with Klopp that we understand they would even consider allowing Klopp to see out the 2023/24 season with Liverpool before taking the job on a full-time basis just before Euro 2024.


In an interview with Sky Germany during the summer, Klopp was asked about potentially take the Germany job, a question to which he replied:

“The job of national coach is and would be a great honour – there’s no question about that. The problem that stands in the way of the whole thing is my loyalty.

“I can’t just leave Liverpool now and say I’ll take over Germany for a short time. That doesn’t work and the request isn’t even there. If I’m supposed to do that at some point, then I have to be available and I’m not currently. I have a responsibility towards the club.

“Basically, it’s an interesting job. But I don’t know yet whether I’ll do something completely different after I leave Liverpool. I want to keep my options open.”

90min understands that, along with Klopp, Thomas Tuchel is another name in contention for the Germany head coach role. Like Klopp, the DFB would also consider letting Tuchel see out the season with Bayern before taking over on a full-time basis.


On this edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders is joined by Graeme Bailey to discuss Al Ittihad’s attempts to sign Mohamed Salah, Jadon Sancho’s Man Utd future, the players that could still leave the Premier League and more!

If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!

Chelsea provide latest update on Cesar Azpilicueta following head injury

Chelsea have confirmed that Cesar Azpilicueta has been discharged from hospital after suffering a concussion in Saturday’s loss at home to Southampton.

Azpilicueta was struck by Sekou Mara’s boot when the striker attempted an overhead kick late in the day at Stamford Bridge and spent a lengthy amount of time receiving treatment on the pitch.

He managed to wave at fans while being stretchered off to reassure his wellbeing before being transferred directly to hospital.

Chelsea have now released a statement regarding Azpilicueta’s injury, explaining: “Following a concussion injury sustained during Saturday’s game against Southampton, Cesar Azpilicueta has been discharged from hospital and is recovering well at Cobham.

“The club’s medical team are closely monitoring Cesar’s condition, adhering to the important concussion protocols in place to ensure his safety.

“Cesar observed training today, before he starts working towards returning to the pitch.”

On this edition of Son of Chelsea, part of the 90min podcast network, Daniel Childs reacts to why Graham Potter has not been sacked after the defeat to Southampton and Mason Mount’s ongoing contract talks. If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!

In a social media post on Monday, Azpilicueta himself had said: “Thank you all for your love and messages of support! My family and I would like to thank everyone who has been looking after me since [Saturday’s] incident.

“From the Chelsea medical team, to teammates and opponents, to St Mary’s and Cleveland Hospital and all staff members and doctors: a massive thank you from the bottom of my heart.

“Now, time to recover and I will see you soon on the pitch!”

CyberSEO.net – ChatGPT autoblogging and content curation plugin for WordPress