Chicago Red Stars defender/midfielder Julie Ertz was voted 2017 US Soccer Female Player of the Year on Wednesday. Ertz is the third player to have won both the Young Female Player (in 2012) and the Player of the Years awards (Lauren Holiday and Tobin Heath).A new voting process for these awards was put into place in 2014. Votes are collected from respective National Team coaches, National Team players who have earned a cap in 2017, American soccer league (MLS, NASL and NWSL) head coaches, select media members, former players and administrators. Players cannot win the Young Male or Young Female award more than once.
While Ertz had been a center back most of her career, she spent most of this year as a holding midfielder. She appeared in 23 matches last season for the Red Stars and scored four goals and three assists on her way to being named to the NWSL Second XI. Her stint in midfield extended to the US National Team this year as she scored the match winner on July 20th against Brazil in the Tournament of Nations and added five other goals in 2017 for a total of six which is just two less than the number of goals scored for the USA prior to 2017.
“I want to give a big thanks to everyone who voted,” said Ertz. “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.”
One of those goals in 2018 is presumably to lead the Red Stars past the NWSL semifinals and on to the Championship Game. The Red Stars have fallen at the semifinal hurdle the last three seasons.
Chicago Red Stars