Angel City FC won the rights to the second two-time World Cup champion on Thursday by buying midfielder Julie Ertz in a deal with the Chicago Red Stars.
In Los Angeles, 29-year-old Ertz will reunite with striker Kristen Press, her Chicago teammate and national world champion in 2015 and 2019. In addition to Ertz, Angel City also acquired 29-year-old Sara Gorden, SWF Defender of the Year. nominee. Angel City will also receive an international slot from Red Stars for both 2022 and 2023. In return, Chicago will receive full roster protection from Angel City in this month’s expansion draft.
Angel City will open performances at the NWSL next spring.
“Julie Ertz and Sara Gorden are two players that are so important to the defensive base we are building with Angel City,” ACFC Sporting Director Ani Aluko said in a statement. “We know that successful teams need competitive defense and we are delighted to have two competitive defenders with decades of NWSL experience added to our team.”
Ertz, who played collegiate in Santa Clara, was the U.S. Footballer of the Year in 2017 and 2019. Her husband, Zach Ertz, is closely associated with the Arizona NFL Cardinals.
Gorden attended DePaul University, where, in addition to her football exploits, she qualified three times for the Big East Conference championship as a hurdler. Last month, she served as a side reporter for the USL Championship Finals, reporting on Orange County SC’s 3-1 victory over Tampa Bay Rowdies.
A Chicago native, Gorden asked to be traded to Los Angeles for personal reasons, the Red Stars report said.
“The level of experience and leadership that both Julie Ertz and Sara Gorden bring to the team is incredible,” said Angel City coach Freya Coombe. “Julie is such a well-known leader and competitor, and she is also a rock in the middle of the field. Sarah is absolutely one of the best defenders in the league.
“This is the level of players we want to play for Angel City.”
Erz and Gorden help Chicago advance to the NWSL title match last month, where they lost to Washington Spirit in extra time. Thursday’s trade was part of the squad’s dismantling, but following the City of Angels deal, the Red Stars dispatched midfielder Nikki Stanton and strikers Katie Johnson, Mackenzie Doniac and Kelsey Turnbow.
Johnson and Doniak, who have ties to California, were turned over to the San Diego Wave for draft protection and an undisclosed amount of cash. They also asked that the deals be closer to the family, Chicago said. Johnson, who plays for Mexico internationally, is from Monrovia and Doñac is from Chino Hills.
Meanwhile, Turnbow attended high school in Arizona and college in Santa Clara.
Stanton from North Bend, WA, went to OL Reign for a third-round pick in a non-extension draft.