(Reuters) – World Cup winning midfielder Julie Ertz was named U.S. Soccer’s player of the year on Friday.

Ertz, who also won the award in 2017, played a key role in her country’s World Cup triumph and also led her club Chicago Red to the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) game for the first time.

“All of my team mates just had such an year and we all know it takes an entire team to win a World Cup or have a successful club season,” Ertz, 27, said in a statement released by U.S. Soccer.

“It’s emotional to be recognised in this way and it’s a cherry on top of a beautiful 2019. It’s incredible.”

Ertz was the U.S.’s midfield anchor at the World Cup, ensuring that they did not concede more than one goal in any game.

She also led the Chicago Red to a second-placed finish in the league standings and was a key player in the team’s playoff run, which ended in a 4-0 defeat to the North Carolina Courage.

“It’s been a whirlwind of a year and one that I’m extremely grateful for,” said Ertz.

“My team lifted me up in so many ways and our experiences on and off the field in 2019 just encapsulate the love I have for the national team and for wearing this crest and what it represents.”

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis)


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