Aw! Eagle Zach Ertz Is Dating U.S. World Cup Soccer Star Julie Johnston
Julie Johnston is a burgeoning star on the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, currently competing (and winning) in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Zach Ertz is an on-the-rise tight end for the Eagles, working hard to become the team’s most reliable pass catcher come the fall.
Zach went to Stanford, Julie to University of Santa Clara. The two met at a Stanford University baseball game a few years back, and now they’re dating, according to Ertz’s personal blog. Julie, at the time, was training for the U-20 Women’s World Cup, signifying to Zach that she was talented.
“Back in college, we used to go one-on-one a bit in soccer, just having some fun,” Ertz writes on a post dedicated to Johnston, dated June 19th.
The two don’t have a whole lot of opportunity to compete against each other anymore; whenever Johnston is in town, she trains with Carli Lloyd, a native of Delran, New Jersey. “I don’t really have the skills to be able to dribble around her anyway,” Ertz laments. “The only chance I would have is to kick the ball around her, and hopefully run and chase it down before she can catch up.”
Zach praises Julie at every turn. He says he loves her one-on-one defense and her quickness. But he doesn’t love her just because she’s good at soccer, or… football, if you will. “I could go on for hours about what’s so amazing about her,” he writes. “We’re each other’s No. 1 fan and supporter.”
Right after Ertz finished minicamps with the Eagles in Philadelphia, he shipped off to Edmonton to watch Johnston compete in a World Cup match against Colombia, which the U.S. won 2-0. He wrote before the match, “It’s a lot of fun to watch somebody that I love do what they love, and chase their dreams just as hard as I’m chasing my own.”
Zach and Julie’s relationship will be fun to follow. But it’s not the first time an Eagles player got together with a U.S. soccer star. In 2010, former Eagles quarterback A.J. Feeley married retired U.S. women’s soccer star Heather Mitts, who earned a silver medal as part of the 2011 U.S. Women’s soccer team that lost in the World Cup final to Japan. Mitts gave birth to a baby boy, Connor, in January 2014.
While A.J. Feeley is happily in retirement from the football grind, Mitts is a former* sideline reporter for the Philadelphia Union, and can be seen currently on Fox as an analyst for the World Cup. Hopefully she’s (discreetly, shh…) cheering on the U.S. team.
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*In an earlier version of this article, Heather Mitts was incorrectly identified as the Philadelphia Union’s current sideline reporter. That position is now held by Jillian Loyden.