Chicago Red Stars midfielder Julie Ertz has been voted the U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year, U.S. Soccer announced on Wednesday.
Ertz moved into midfield this year for the Red Stars, playing 22 regular games as Chicago made the playoffs. She scored four goals and added three assists along the way. Her 84th minute game-winning header vs. the Courage won the Week 19 Goal of the Week. Ertz was named to the 2017 NWSL Second XI.
Ertz also took over in defensive midfield for the U.S. women’s national team, beginning at the Tournament of Nations. She scored the game-winning goal in the United States’ dramatic 4-3 comeback win over Brazil and made a stellar defensive save at the goal line in the USWNT’s next game vs. Japan. She finished the year with five goals, second-best on the USWNT.
“I want to give a big thanks to everyone who voted,” Ertz said in a U.S. Soccer news release. “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.”
Ertz received 51.6% of the votes and Seattle Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe finished second in the voting, U.S. Soccer said. The award is voted on by national team coaches/staff, national team players who appeared in 2017, NWSL/MLS/NASL coaches, select members of the media, former players and administrators.