Julie Ertz named U.S. Soccer top female player of 2017

A new last name and a return to an old position marked a big year for Julie Ertz, who was named 2017 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year.

Ertz, 25, garnered 51.6 percent of votes cast by U.S. national team coaches and staff, women’s national team players, members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, U.S. Soccer’s Athlete Council, NWSL coaches, and selected college head coaches and media members. Midfielder Megan Rapinoe finished second in the voting.

In 2017 she scored six goals in 12 games (eight starts) as a midfielder, to which she’d been converted after playing mostly as a center defender since debuting for the senior team in 2013. As Julie Johnston (her maiden name), she had been named U.S. Young Female Player of the Year in 2012 as a midfielder, the position played during her college career at Santa Clara University.

Playing mostly as a defensive midfielder for her club team, Chicago Red Stars of the NWSL, Ertz scored four goals and logged three assists in 22 games. She was named to the NWSL Second XI.

In March, she had married college sweetheart Zach Ertz, who plays tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles. She ‘debuted’ as Julie Ertz in April for Chicago in a league match.

“I want to give a big thanks to everyone who voted,” said Ertz in a press release issued by U.S. Soccer. “This was a really unique year for me with a lot of different challenges, but it means so much to have the support of my husband, my family, my coaches and my teammates. I'm honored and thankful from the bottom of my heart and I'm really looking forward to next year and as we have some big goals to accomplish."

U.S. Soccer Female Players of the Year
1985 Sharon Remer
1986 April Heinrichs
1987 Carin Jennings
1988 Joy Biefeld
1989 April Heinrichs
1990 Michelle Akers
1991 Michelle Akers
1992 Carin Gabarra
1993 Kristine Lilly
1994 Mia Hamm
1995 Mia Hamm
1996 Mia Hamm
1997 Mia Hamm
1998 Mia Hamm
1999 Michelle Akers
2000 Tiffeny Milbrett
2001 Tiffeny Milbrett
2002 Shannon MacMillan
2003 Abby Wambach
2004 Abby Wambach
2005 Kristine Lilly
2006 Kristine Lilly
2007 Abby Wambach
2008 Carli Lloyd
2009 Hope Solo
2010 Abby Wambach
2011 Abby Wambach
2012 Alex Morgan
2013 Abby Wambach
2014 Lauren Holiday
2015 Carli Lloyd
2016 Tobin Heath
2017 Julie Ertz
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