Julie Ertz, Sophia Smith and more players on the U.S. Women’s National soccer team got one piece of home before heading off to the World Cup.
The National Women’s Soccer League shared a YouTube video on Wednesday, July 19, that featured several of the soccer stars reading send-off letters from their friends and family before jetting off to New Zealand for the global sports event — which kicks off on Thursday, July 20.
Before opening the letter, Ertz, 31, asked the cameraperson how many of her teammates were crying after reading their messages. The midfielder teased she was “always the crier” when it came to sentimental moments.
“Julie, here we go, World Cup number 3,” Ertz read her message from her husband, Zach. “Less than a year ago, you gave birth to the biggest blessing in our lives, Madden, and watching you become a mom has been one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced in our time together. We love you so much and cannot wait to support you on this journey for a fifth star.”
While Ertz rejoiced from hearing from her hubby and son, Smith, 22, received a letter from her own significant other, boyfriend Michael Wilson.
“Dear Sophia, I can’t articulate how proud I am of you for the person you have become. “You are the most special person I have ever encountered in my entire life,” she read her beau’s words. “Let’s let history continue to repeat itself: the World Cup champion and MVP. I love you.”
After reading the sweet sentiments, Smith hugged the letter noting it was “so cute” and made her “really happy.” Meanwhile, her teammate Sofia Huerta got a heartrending message from her brother Alex before jetting off to the tournament.
“Dear Sofia, I want you to know that I miss my best friend every day. The day I dropped you off at the airport with Mom,” Huerta, 30, recounted while tearing up. “We are blessed to have you in our lives. We are blessed to receive your light. We’re so grateful that you exist and we get to share this experience called life together.”
The message continued: “The World Cup is more than a soccer tournament, it is a celebration of life. It is passion in its rawest form. It is art in motion. It is the pinnacle of human achievement. It reflects the hopes and dreams of the world. From the bottom of our hearts, we love you Sofia.”
Huerta wasn’t the only teammate to get encouraging remarks from her close family. Alana Cook received words of wisdom from her mom.
“Alana, few have the opportunity to represent their country. Enjoy this moment and repay the trust that has been given to you,” Cook 26, recited. “Never forget what it took to get here. Let those memories of joy and heartbreak give you an unabashed ruthlessness. Go show the world there’s still room for old-school shutdown defenders. We love you and we’re cheering for you and Team USA.”
Team USA is the current Women’s World Cup champion. The organization also holds the record for the most titles which is 4. In their first match, USA is set to take on Vietnam on Friday, July 21.