SANTA MONICA — Mallory Pugh has been the up-and-coming player talked about for years, but now that she’s settled in, it’s time for new players to arise out of her shadows, allowing Tierna Davidson the opportunity to be recognized. The Stanford sophomore shows immense promise in her recent performance with the USWNT and U-20 teams, begging the question could she be the next Julie Ertz?
Julie Ertz has arguably become the greatest defender in US Women’s Soccer history. Largely playing in the defensive position however hasn’t slowed Ertz’s attack down, recording 20 goals over the years. On the other side of the field, the veteran defender is known to be the thorn in the offensive side, blocking shots, sliding for saves and keeping the offense in line.
Can Davidson really compare?
Davidson isn’t afraid of a little contact, and whether its a jab, slide or clearing the ball, she’s going to defend the net at all cost.
Like Davidson, Julie Ertz is known for her amazing saves and big stops. A number of times in both the NWSL and USWNT, Ertz has gone behind the keeper and made a big stop when the ball rolled through the keeper’s grasp.
The goal scorer
The USWNT rookie also appears to be in the mindset that scoring isn’t just for attackers. She has no hesitation sliding into the frontline when needed and scoring a goal. Just a month ago, her goalscoring abilities became the vital shot that kept the US U-20’s in the CONCAFAC championship.
Julie Ertz has become hardly remembered by her defense anymore. She has become a name often associated with goal scoring especially since transitioning into a defensive midfielder. Prior to the midfield position though, it wasn’t unusual to see Ertz make a run with the ball or put in a corner kick.
It maybe too early to tell what Davidson’s future has to offer, but she looks well on her way to being one of the best defenders in women’s soccer. Fortunately, with a USWNT cap under her belt and two years left at Stanford, Davidson has plenty of time to further develop her skills before going head-to-head with Ertz in the NWSL.
Photos courtesy of ISI and Jeremy Reper.