Julie Ertz wore the captain’s armband for her 123rd and final appearance with the United States women’s national team on Thursday as the U.S. defeated South Africa 3-0 at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Ertz had her curtain call in the 36th minute as she was given a standing ovation and made way for Andi Sullivan. Before exiting the field, she hugged teammates, acknowledged the 22,016 fans and passed the armband off to Lindsey Horan.
Here were her final moments as a USWNT player.
Julie Ertz last game
Julie Ertz subs off for the final time.An end to a remarkable career pic.twitter.com/qvc23R7r4b
— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 22, 2023
Leaving the pitch a legend.
— U.S. Women's National Soccer Team (@USWNT) September 22, 2023
During Ertz’s 35 minutes as captain the USWNT look a 2-0 lead courtesy of goals from Lynn Williams and Trinity Rodman.
Williams added a third before the half.
While the focus of the night was on saying goodbye to Ertz, this was a good first game back for the USWNT since the Women’s World Cup early exit.
The next game will also be a farewell event as the USWNT play South Africa again at Soldier Field in Chicago for Megan Rapinoe’s final game.
After that the focus will turn toward finding the next manager for the team and getting ready for a shot at redemption next summer at the Paris 2024 Olympics.