In his Twitter bio, Zach Ertz lists a number of roles in life. First among them: “Husband to Julie Ertz.”
The importance of that role to both was on full display as Julie and the U.S. Women’s National Team made their run to the women’s soccer World Cup over the last month in France.
Their busy schedules rarely line up, but nothing was keeping Julie’s husband from heading over to France as she and the USWNT pursued a goal four year in the making. Fortunately for the Ertzes, their schedules aligned over the past month and No. 86 was able to rock Julie’s No. 8 jersey while rooting on the U.S. Women’s National Team during their World Cup title run in France.
Returning to the U.S. this week, victorious once again after the USWNT captured their second consecutive FIFA Women’s World Cup, Julie joined NFL Network’s Good Morning Football for an interview prior to the team’s victory parade down New York’s Canyon of Heroes, and Zach made a surprise appearance on a video call to chime in.
The Group Stage
Zach traveled to France to take in the World Cup matches firsthand as Julie’s biggest fan and was all over social media after the team’s victories. His die-hard social media fandom started in the Group Stage and ratcheted up in the subsequent rounds.
The United States started their run to their fourth World Cup title by toppling Thailand 13-0. The team clearly showed that they came ready to defend their title and that they were going to be tough for anyone in the world to beat.
The USWNT kept their stellar play going in their second match of the Group Stage, scoring three goals in the first half against Chile, one coming from none other than Julie. Her goal against Chile in the second group stage match helped the U.S. clinch a spot in the knockout round and propelled them into a match with Sweden to determine the winner of Group F.
A solid 2-0 win over Sweden in their final match of the Group Stage capped off a commanding display in Group F that saw the U.S. side outscore its opponents 18-0. Julie and the rest of the USWNT took center stage, captivating the nation, as her husband cheered nervously and proudly from the stands, and everyone was eager for more.
The Knockout Stage
A gutsy 2-1 win over Spain in the Round of 16 saw Megan Rapinoe find the back of the net twice. Zach, much like the rest of the USWNT supporters, was able to relax once the result went final after the team had survived a tough battle from the Spanish side, but the Quarterfinals would bring yet another challenge against the host country a few days later.
In a match billed as a potential final – and one that certainly lived up to the hype – the U.S. took out France on their home soil in a thrilling 2-1 victory in the Quarterfinals. For the second consecutive Knockout Stage match, Rapinoe netted both goals for the United States. After another big win by Julie and the team, an ecstatic Zach posted a selfie of him and his wife celebrating another trip to the World Cup Semifinals. Although this was a huge win, Julie and the rest of the team knew they still had two tough tests left to be crowned champions.
The semifinal against England included a lot of early action with a nail-biting finish that ultimately sent the United States back to the Final. Christen Press started in place of Rapinoe, and she didn’t miss a beat, scoring a goal less than 10 minutes into the match to put the team up early.
However, England answered just minutes later to knot the game at 1-1. Then, midway through the first half, came perhaps the moment of the tournament. In the 31st minute, Lindsey Horan’s cross found the head of Alex Morgan, and Morgan buried the ball in the back of the net to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead.
Zach and his Eagles’ teammates have had some clever touchdown celebrations over the last few seasons, but none will be remembered like Alex Morgan’s tea sipping celebration after that goal, which wound up being the game-winning goal for the USWNT, sending them to the World Cup Final. Stout defense from Julie and the rest of the back line in the second half held off a tough English side, and goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher stepped up huge late by saving a penalty kick that would have tied the game and almost certainly sent the game into extra time.
The World Cup Final
All that remained in the USWNT’s path was one more game against the Netherlands to win the World Cup. Julie and many of the other players were aiming to win back-to-back World Cups, and they exuded tons of confidence and excitement entering the match. Zach was about as excited as if he were playing a Super Bowl, just maybe a little more nervous up in the stands.
— Zach Ertz (@ZERTZ_86) July 7, 2021
After a scoreless first half, a penalty kick from Rapinoe gave the Americans a 1-0 lead in the 61st minute over the Netherlands. Rose Lavelle sped past the Dutch defense and added an insurance goal in the 69th minute, and the U.S. Women’s National Team cemented its place in history by winning consecutive World Cups with a 2-0 win against the Netherlands.
— Zach Ertz (@ZERTZ_86) July 7, 2021
The Ertz household now holds three major sports titles – two World Cups and a Super Bowl. Now that the excitement of the World Cup in France is over, Zach has some work to do to match Julie’s World Cup accomplishments.
Training camp begins July 24, and Zach and his teammates will be looking to add another Super Bowl title this year to keep up with Julie and the USWNT. In the meantime, Julie’s husband is sure to celebrate the World Cup victory a bit more with his wife before the NFL season begins.