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They first met at a baseball game in 2012 — Zach was playing football and Julie was playing soccer at nearby universities — and dated long-distance as their athletic careers took off.
The couple have experienced several milestones together in the past decade, both personally and professionally. Julie and the United States Women's National Team won the World Cup in 2015 and Zach popped the question the following year. And after their 2017 wedding, Zach and the Philadelphia Eagles went on to win the Super Bowl the following season.
In 2022, the pair announced that they were expecting their first baby together. Their son, Madden Matthew, was born in August. "Beyond grateful to be your Dad. @julieertz and I can't even put into words how blessed we are to be your parents," wrote the Arizona Cardinal.
The following August, Julie announced her retirement from professional soccer. She shared the news after the United States Women's National Team lost to Sweden in round 16 of the 2023 World Cup.
From their college beginnings to welcoming their first child, here's everything to know about Zach and Julie Ertz's relationship.
2012: Zach and Julie meet in college
Zach and Julie first met in 2012 through mutual friends. At the time, Zach played football for Stanford University, while Julie played soccer for Santa Clara University. They first crossed paths at a Stanford University baseball game.
2013: Zach and Julie start a long-distance relationship
Following the 2012 football season, Zach entered the NFL draft. The tight end joined the Philadelphia Eagles while Julie later signed with the Chicago Red Stars soccer team.
July 2015: Zach supports Julie as she wins the World Cup
Julie made her debut for the USWNT in 2013 and was on the roster for the World Cup in 2015. Zach was there to support her as the U.S. team went on to win the tournament.
He posted a picture of the couple on Instagram with the caption, "So proud of my baby @juliejohnston2! Such an amazing journey and now World Cup Champions! Great to be a part of it all! #Champs #USA."
February 2016: Zach and Julie get engaged
Zach proposed to Julie in February 2016 at the stadium where they first met. The tight end presented his fiancée with an engagement ring he picked out alongside his mother.
March 26, 2017: Zach and Julie get married in California
After being engaged for just over a year, Zach and Julie got married in Santa Barbara, California, surrounded by friends and family.
The couple personalized the day with cute tributes to their football and soccer careers. The flower girl and ring bearer wore the pair's sports jerseys and the wedding cake was topped with footballs and soccer balls.
"We wanted pops of just us, not just a typical wedding," Julie told PEOPLE. "It was definitely a dream come true. It was beautiful, perfect."
Following their nuptials, the newlyweds honeymooned in Hawaii.
May 6, 2017: Zach cheers on Julie at a Chicago Red Stars game
Less than two months after their wedding, Zach headed to Chicago to watch his wife play soccer. Julie's jersey also debuted her new last name.
After the game, she posted a photo of Zach kissing her on the cheek in the stadium on Instagram with the caption, "ERTZ so good when bae comes to CHI Town for game day!"
Zach shared the same photo, writing, "Proud Husband. Support Your Woman!!"
July 2017: Zach and Julie appear in ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue
In July 2017, Zach and Julie posed nude for ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue, and also discussed their relationship in an interview.
"I love watching Julie play [soccer]," said Zach. "I know how much work she puts into her sport and her craft — to see that hard work pay off is very satisfying to me too."
The soccer player added, "I think it's a lot easier for me to watch Zach play [football] than it is for his other family members, just because I know how much he loves the sport and how hard he works at it. The closer I sit, when I hear more of the pads banging against each other, my heart races a little bit. But I just want him to succeed and do what he loves."
November 26, 2017: Zach and Julie spend the day with Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated spent the day with the couple, covering everything from their new Philadelphia apartment and their faith to their love of playing Call of Duty together and their regular FaceTime chats.
"I'm just so proud of Zach. Being an athlete myself, I see all the hard work I do in my sports, so it's really cool to see your spouse doing it too," said Julie.
Zach added, "Our relationship isn't really based on our success as athletes. We love each other for the company. The sports are just a season of our life that we're in."
February 4, 2018: Julie celebrates with Zach as he wins the Super Bowl
Julie's emotional reaction to Zach making it to the Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles went viral, and she was there to support and celebrate with him when the Eagles won the following month.
She posted a boomerang video in which she and her husband threw confetti and kissed on Instagram, and wrote, "Congrats to my best friend. I am beyond proud of you!!! #Godissogood."
June 2018: Zach and Julie create the Ertz Family Foundation
Zach and Julie were inspired to set up the nonprofit after Zach's trip to Haiti with some of his teammates. "He saw that there were so many lives that you could touch and help," said Julie. "We really want to give back, especially because we've had so many people who have been good to us."
July 2018: Zach and Julie attend the ESPY Awards together
The athletes attended the ESPY Awards together in 2018. Julie was nominated for best female athlete, while Zach and the Eagles were nominated for best team.
August 11, 2018: Zach and Julie open up about their relationship
During a joint interview with Philly Mag, Zach and Julie discussed their marriage and careers. The pair also revealed some details about the early days of their romance, including their first date to Chipotle.
"To this day, still one of our favorites," Zach admitted.
The tight end also said they are "each other's biggest supporter." He continued, "I know enough soccer to get by, but I don't know strategy. And I think she feels the same way about football. So we're there to build each other up."
July 2019: Zach surprises Julie on TV
Julie appeared on an episode of the NFL Network's Good Morning Football, and she was surprised by her husband calling in from home to talk about her World Cup win.
"I've seen the work that Julie and all these girls have done for the past four years … It was just incredible to be out there for so long and see her do what she loves," he said.
October 9, 2019: Julie talks to PEOPLE about being with Zach during the off-season
In an interview with PEOPLE, Julie discussed being able to relax with Zach in the off-season after busy years for both of them.
"Obviously during the World Cup year I don't get a ton [of time] with him, so any time I get with him is super special and I cherish every moment of that. I'm really excited to kind of be able to sit back, relax and enjoy some time with my husband," she said.
2020: Zach and Julie spend time together during the pandemic
The couple spent the majority of their relationship long-distance due to their busy athletic careers. However, during the pandemic in 2020, Zach and Julie were finally able to live together regularly for the first time.
The football player reflected on the experience in December 2021, telling ESPN that living together allowed them to "really enjoy being married." He added, "It was a glimpse into what life would be like when one of us was done playing whenever that may be — and we love it."
July 13, 2021: Julie calls being married to Zach a "blessing"
Speaking to PEOPLE, Julie described her marriage to Zach as a "blessing." She explained, "We both know what it takes to reach the top of our sports, so we are always on the same page with our daily routines, and we keep each other disciplined."
She continued, "We both had to find unique ways to stay in shape while everything was shut down [amid the COVID-19 pandemic], and having someone who has to keep that as a priority made it so much easier to stay on track even with all the obstacles the pandemic brought. We have both experienced a lot in our careers and those experiences help us both support each other when the other one needs it."
October 2021: Zach joins the Arizona Cardinals
In the middle of the 2021 football season, Zach was traded from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Arizona Cardinals.
Later that year, the Red Stars traded Julie to the Los Angeles-based NWSL team Angel City.
March 26, 2022: Zach and Julie celebrate their anniversary on Instagram
Zach marked the couple's fifth anniversary on Instagram by posting a photo of the two together on the beach with the caption, "5 years with my best friend!! Happy anniversary @julieertz!"
Julie also shared photos on Instagram to mark the occasion, writing, "5 incredibly amazing years! Happy Anniversary @zachertz, just nothing like doing life with you! I love you ❤️."
April 4, 2022: Zach and Julie are expecting their first baby
The couple shared that they were expecting their first baby, or as they called it, "adding to our starting lineup," in April 2022. Julie announced the news on Instagram, posting photographs of Zach holding and kissing her baby bump.
August 11, 2022: Zach and Julie welcome their first baby
"One week already with our sweet boy!" said Julie wrote. "Madden Matthew Ertz you are so loved. Beyond grateful to be your mommy. @zachertz and I can't even put into words how blessed we are to be your parents. 👶🏼💙."
September 2022: Zach and Julie pledge to donate 500,000 meals to the Arizona community
Following Zach's trade to the Cardinals in 2021, he and Julie started the Score More n' Feed More initiative and donated 150,000 meals to fight hunger in Arizona.
The couple announced the initiative again during the 2022 season and pledged to provide 500,000 meals to the Arizona community. For every touchdown the Cardinals score, the Ertz Family Foundation and The Athlete's Corner will donate 5,000 meals — and they'll donate 10,000 meals for every Ertz touchdown.
"I think it went well last year," Ertz said, per the Arizona Cardinals. "Philanthropy is important to Julie and I. We started our foundation years ago to give back to our communities. We're doing a big project in Philadelphia, so in Arizona, we wanted to make a tangible impact immediately."
November 10, 2022: Julie calls Zach the "best dada"
Julie gave Zach a shoutout on Instagram for his 32nd birthday.
"Happy Birthday to the sweetest man and best dada in the World," she captioned a carousel of images, including a sweet pic of Zach with their three-month-old son. "Madden and I love you so much. Have the best day ever you deserve it 😍."
December 8, 2022: Zach accepts Walter Payton Man of the Year nomination
Zach suffered a season-ending knee injury in November 2022. A month later, he returned to the Cardinals' press room with his wife after being named the team's Walter Payton Man of the Year.
"Obviously, it's an honor to receive this award. It's something that we don't take lightly," he said, turning to look at Julie who was holding their son, Madden.
She then added: "I'm very proud. It's such a light in a really hard time. I have a front seat to all of his hard work. It's inspiring to me."
February 9, 2023: Zach and Julie attend the NFL Honors
Ahead of Super Bowl LVII, the couple attended the NFL Honors in Phoenix. Zach looked dapper in a gray plaid suit, while Julie wowed in a plunging black gown.
"A great evening at NFL Honors. Proud of this guy! Congrats to all the incredible nominees for Walter Payton Man of the Year," Julie wrote on Instagram, referencing Zach's 2022 nomination.
June 18, 2023: Julie celebrates Zach on Father's Day
On Instagram, Julie called Zach the "Best DaDa ever," when posting about her husband in honor of Father's Day.
"Madden and I love you so much!! Thank you for all you do for us," the soccer star captioned a family photo.
August 6, 2023: Julie announces her retirement from soccer
Following a heartbreaking loss for the United States Women's National Team at the 2023 World Cup, Julie announced her retirement in post-match interviews.
"Unfortunately, this is my last time in this crest," she said, trying to hold back tears. "You know, sometimes you learn the most from your failures, which sucks. But it's part of my career as well."
Ahead of the World Cup, Zach wrote his wife a letter, which Julie read on camera for the National Women's Soccer League.
"Julie, here we go. World Cup number three," the note said. "While the destination is the same, the path has been quite different. Less than a year ago, you gave birth to the biggest blessing in our lives, Madden. Watching you become a mom has been one of the most amazing things I've ever experienced in our time together. Madden and I are so excited for you and cannot wait to see you do your thing out on the pitch. We love you so much."
September 17, 2023: Zach holds Madden on the field before a game
As he warmed up for a game against the New York Giants, Zach took a quick break to jog over to the sidelines and greet his wife and son. In a video posted on Instagram by the Cardinals, Julie passes Madden over the sideline railing to cuddle his dad.
Zach gives Madden a quick kiss and poses for a photo in the clip. The caption read, "Baby Madden has no idea how cool his parents are."
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