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Thursday Roundup: Julie Johnston to marry Zach Ertz, will use married name

Julie Johnston sprints to cover defense during the first half against England. (MEG LINEHAN/Equalizer Soccer)

Also in today’s roundup, Brazil and Denmark name NWSL players to April friendly rosters

Julie Johnston sprints to cover defense during the first half against England. (MEG LINEHAN/Equalizer Soccer)

Julie Johnston will be known as Julie Ertz after she marries Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz. (MEG LINEHAN/Equalizer Soccer)

The player affectionately known as JJ will be sporting new initials in 2017. When Julie Johnston returns to the Chicago Red Stars after her wedding and honeymoon, she will be known going forward as Julie Ertz. The announcement was made as part of U.S. Soccer’s roster release for friendlies next month against Russia. Johnston is missing the camp and the matches to get married.

Johnston’s fiancé is Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz. The disparity in scheduling between the two sports make finding a good time for a wedding virtually impossible. Johnston/Ertz will join a long line of top women’s players to take on their married name midcareer. Christie Rampone (nee Pierce), Lauren Holiday (Cheney), Joy Fawcett (Biefeld) and Carla Overbeck (Werden) are among those who have achieved notable fame under their married names.

Johnston will be in her fourth season with the Red Stars since being drafted No. 3 overall out of Santa Clara in 2014. She has appeared in 44 regular season matches plus two playoff games for the Red Stars, starting and playing the entire match in every one. She became a fan favorite in 2015 for her performance as Becky Sauerbrunn’s central defense partner for the U.S., helping them win the World Cup.

More NWSL players get international call-ups

Brazil and Denmark announced their rosters for friendlies during next month’s international window and both include NWSL players.

Emily Luna named four NWSL players to Brazil including the Courage’s new pairing of Debinha and Rosana. Also in the squad are newly signed Dash defender Bruna Benites and Pride defender/midfielder Monica.

Marta is also in the squad. The former WPS star is not in NWSL but has been recently linked with a move to the Pride. Michelle Stile of Women’s Soccer Weekly reported that Marta and the Pride had agreed to a deal, but both Marta and her current club Rosengard have so far denied any contact with Orlando.

Brazil will host Bolivia on April 9.

Meanwhile, both of NWSL’s Danish players, Nadia Nadim and Line Sigvardsen Jensen, have been called in by Denmark. Nils Nielsen’s side will play Finland on April 11. Katrine Veje, who played briefly for the Reign in 2015, was also named to Nielsen’s team.

The Danes are in a group with Belgium, Norway and the Netherlands at this summer’s European Championships. Finland did not qualify.


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