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The Road to Rio

The Road to Rio

By Matt Morgan

Julie Johnston plays against Japan in the 2015 Women’s World Cup finals. Photo by Lars Baron/FIFA
After an amazing 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup win, Julie Johnston ’14 is on the way to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.

What gets Julie Johnston ’14 started? On the morning of July 14, it was a box of cereal with her picture on it.

Johnston, who is joining her U.S. soccer teammates for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is one of five rookie Olympians featured by Kellogg’s What Gets You Started? campaign. Johnston commemorated the moment with a tweet featuring a Boomerang video of her and the cereal.

“Guys. This is my face.,” Johnston said on Twitter. “On a box of Special K AND Corn Flakes!”

American Olympic viewers will get plenty of chances to get to know Johnston this month, and not just at breakfast. Johnston, who was a three-time All-American midfielder for Santa Clara University (2010-13) and now plays for the Chicago Red Stars, is expected to be a standout for the gold medal favorite.

While the Opening Ceremony takes place Friday, the American women start play in Group G against New Zealand on Wednesday, a full two days earlier. Their second match is against France on Saturday.

Johnston joined the U.S. Women’s National Team right before the start of the 2015 World Cup after an injury to starter Crystal Dunn, and immediately emerged as a star. She played every minute of every game in the team’s World Cup run and anchored a defense that posted 540 consecutive scoreless minutes. The U.S. team has lost just once since Johnston joined the team, a 1-0 loss to China on Dec. 16, 2015.

The second-youngest player on the 2015 team, Johnston has grown up a bit since the last time she was in the spotlight. Johnston and Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz announced their engagement in late February. Ertz and Johnston met at a baseball game at Ertz’s alma mater, Stanford University, and the couple returned to Klein Field at Stanford for the surprise proposal.

In addition to her work on the Kellogg’s pitch, Johnston has posted a commercial she filmed for Cheez-It and some pictures of herself enjoying Keebler cookies. And she should be a fun Twitter follow for fans of the Olympics this month. Follow her at ‪‪@_JulieJohnston_‬‬‬‬.

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