In less than 24 hours, the U.S. women’s national teamof the World Cup, which is probably a good thing, because it means everyone will turn their focus to that and stop debating about whether or not their first match was good for soccer.
The U.S. women take the stage again on Sunday at noon ET in a match against Chile, which you can watch on fuboTV (Try for free).
Although plenty of soccer fans around the county thought the win was bad sportsmanship, there were plenty of other fans, like Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, who had no issue with the outcome. Ertz has a unique perspective on the Women’s World Cup, and that’s because he’s the only player in the NFL who has personal stake in it: The Eagles tight end is married to USWNT star Julie Ertz.
For anyone out there who got upset over the fact that the U.S. ran up the score, Ertz took some time this week to explain why it made sense for the U.S. team to keep scoring.
“I got a lot of thoughts. I heard it. I read about it,” Ertz said, via NFL.com. “First thought is the first tiebreaker in the World Cup group stage is the goal differential and so they would be sick to their stomach if they took their foot off the gas and for some reason finished second in the group based off goal differential.”
Ertz’s first point is probably the most important one. Since goal differential is the first tiebreaker in the group stage, the USWNT should be piling on, and that’s because the other two teams still get to play Thailand. If Sweden were to put up 13 goals on Thailand and then earn a draw with the U.S., they might be able to steal the top seed out of Group F heading into the knockout stage.
The second point Ertz made is one that most people probably wouldn’t realize unless they’ve played sports at a high level: A win like that goes a long way toward building team chemistry.
“The second, which is probably is the most underlying thing, when you’re on a good team the best way to build team chemistry is seeing other people as happy for your success as they are for their own,” Ertz said. “And seeing the girls celebrate they were for other people’s success really I thought was crucial for them long term. Because you see how close these girls were getting, these women were getting.”
Ertz then pointed to the Eagles’ Super Bowl winning season of 2017 as an example of how celebrations can bring a team together. Every week they played, the Eagles seemed to have a new group celebration ready anytime they scored a touchdown.
“I think you saw it a couple of years ago with us when we were celebrating,” Ertz said. “We really were just building that team chemistry because everyone was bonding through those moments. Everyone was seeing how happy everyone was for another person’s success. I think that really speaks volumes about the camaraderie and team chemistry. So I had no issue with it obviously. I was actually for it.”
If the U.S. women pull off(12 p.m. ET), Ertz will be there to see it, and that’s because he’s currently en route to Paris, where the match is being played.
Before the World Cup started, the Eagles tight end actuallywith our very own Will Brinson, and you can hear that conversation by scrolling to the 41:55 mark below.