While Julie Ertz and the U.S. women’s national team cruised to a 13-0 win against Thailand in their 2019 World Cup opener in France on Tuesday — a win that sparked some backlash — Zach Ertz had to follow the action while stuck at the Philadelphia Eagles’ minicamp.
Thankfully, though, Zach only has to put up with that for a few more days.
The Eagles tight end will break from minicamp to fly over to France on Friday to support his wife and the United States in the World Cup.
“It's very similar to how she would feel watching me play,” Zach told the Associated Press. “It's special. It's definitely unique in a sense as an athlete, you always feel you have control of the game or of the situation. When I sit in the stands, I'm just a casual person with a vested interest in seeing a team succeed, seeing Julie succeed. It's a lot different [than playing] because you have no control when you sit in the stands.”
While he was on the other side of the world though, Ertz still showed his wife plenty of support.
— Zach Ertz (@ZERTZ_86) June 11, 2019
Zach recorded 1,163 yards and eight touchdowns on 116 receptions last season in Philadelphia, his sixth with the organization. While Julie wasn’t one of the seven different players who scored in Tuesday’s beatdown, she has scored 18 times in 81 appearances for the United States. She made her national team debut in the 2015 World Cup in Canada, which marked the United States’ first win in the event since 1999.
While it’s likely not fun for either Zach or Julie to be apart from each other for big games and tournaments like this, it’s nothing new. Julie had to miss the Eagles’ NFC championship game against the Minnesota Vikings in 2017 while the USWNT had a friendly against Denmark.
It simply comes with the territory — and Zach loves it.
“It's awesome being married to Julie, being able to support the people we love doing what they love to do,” Zach told the Associated Press. “I've seen all the work she does each and every day and I've seen all the adversity she's faced over the past seven years we've been together. I've seen the injuries. I've seen her cry. I've seen the blood. I've seen the tears. Because she loves the game so much, I'm so invested in seeing her succeed. That hard work is paying off.”
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