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."