The 2019 soccer Women’s World Cup begins on Friday, June 7 in France. The United States team is the defending champions but their path to repeating is a perilous one. The field is stronger than it ever has been before and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see any of the top ten teams lifting the trophy on July 7.
To help prepare you to root for team and country, we’re going to run a short profile of every player on the 23-person roster. When female athletes take their turn in the spotlight, they often receive coverage that is slanted toward non-game aspects of their stories — marriage, children, sexual preference, perceived lack-of or bountiful sexiness, social media activity, etc. In the hope of balancing things out, just a tiny bit, these previews will strive to stay on the field, with only a little bit of non-gendered personal interest when possible.
Club: NC Courage
National team experience: Mewis has played 51 games for the USWNT and scored 14 goals. During the 2019 SheBelieves Cup, she played one full game, was a substitute in another, and was left out of the lineup in the third game.
What to expect from Samantha Mewis in 2019: There is really very little that differentiates Mewis from Lindsey Horan. Both are central midfielders. Both are tall, physical players. At 6 feet, Mewis is actually a bit taller. Both players are conduits for the team, helping transition from defense to offense. Both are distributors par excellence and can score when called upon as well. So why is it that Horan is lauded as one of the best players in the world and Mewis is so often an afterthought? I… am not totally sure. There’s some element of play that Horan has that Mewis does not. When you watch the two of them, Mewis seems like a world class player and Horan seems like a swashbuckler. Everything just feels more threatening to the opposing team when it’s Horan with the ball at her feet, rather than Mewis. Whatever it is, the difficult to define difference between the two makes Mewis one of the first subs off the bench and Horan a fixture in the starting lineup.
Non-gendered personal interest item: Mewis grew up competing with her older sister, Kristie, who was a star forward. She still competes with her in the NWSL where Kristie plays for the Houston Dash.