For much of the day, the world debated the way the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team handled their 13-0 blowout win over Thailand. They were called on the carpet by soccer fanatics for going overboard with their celebrations while holding that insurmountable edge. Up by nine goals, they still celebrated.
One fanatic who had a strong opinion the other way was Zach Ertz. Known for his own on-field celebrations with the Eagles, Ertz relished the opportunity to answer questions about the women’s soccer drama. His wife, Julie, is on the team and he is one of their biggest fans.
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson allowed his tight end to leave minicamp early Wednesday, so he could board a flight to watch Julie play in France. Keep in mind, there are possible tie-breakers later in the tournament and those goals might be counted on.
“First of all, the first tiebreaker for the World Cup in the group stage is the goal differential,” Ertz told reporters. “So it would be a crime for them to take the foot off the gas, and then finish second in the group because they took the foot off the gas.”
Point, Ertz. But he wasn’t quite finished.
“These girls have been training four years for another World Cup,” Ertz continued. “For a lot of them, this is their first time. So to see how involved and excited each and every girl — I mean, you see my wife, she got subbed off, as excited as everyone out there, celebrating. I thought that’s the best way to build team chemistry, camaraderie, and I thought it was special to celebrate like that. I didn’t think it was a negative thing.”
Ertz Thinks this Eagles Team is Better than the Super Bowl Team
Was he proving bulletin board material? Or just being honest?
After Ertz defended his wife and her team, he hyped up his own squad. He believes the talent on this Eagles team is second to one — and that includes the one that went on to win the Super Bowl a few years ago. It’s hard to argue with his logic. The Eagles have weapons all over the field, especially at the skill positions. ‘
Think about this for a second: their red-zone offense could feature a seemingly unstoppable receiving threat of Ertz, Alshon Jeffery, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Dallas Goedert at any time. That’s going to be tough to defend.
His coach talked up the positive vibes and “renewed energy” that he’s noticed, too.
“Yeah, the energy level, No. 1. Guys came back in relatively good shape in April and they’ve worked hard and you’re seeing kind of the fruits of their labor the entire nine, ten weeks we’ve been together. The extra time helps, obviously. It refreshes mind, body, and soul as coaches and players. There is that renewed energy you’re seeing at this time.”
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