Let’s face it. The midfield is the engine of any soccer team.
If they don’t have the right players there, a team could be doomed.
But if they have possess the correct components, well, the team can go far.
Which brings us to the case of Sam Mewis, who has become a force for club and country the past few years.
In 2019, she was an anchor for the U.S. women’s national team, which captured its second consecutive Women’s World Cup.
Despite having but a handful of games this year, Mewis continued to make an impact.
In fact, it shouldn’t be surprising the 28-year-old midfielder was named U.S. Soccer’s female player of the year over the weekend.
“It’s obviously a huge honor to be a part of the list of players that have won this award in the past,” Mewis said in a statement. “It should go without saying that it’s the team that does the work on the field and I just have so much respect for the other nominees this year and all my teammates. I’ve just loved playing with them on the U.S. team, and with my teammates for the Courage and Man City. It’s still such an honor to even get called into a U.S. camp, to get playing time and to be able to score goals for my country. All that continues to be surreal to me. I owe so much to so many people who have helped me on my journey and any individual award is a credit to them.”
At 6-foot, Mewis is the tallest player ever on the USWNT as she has used her height, determination and talent to dominate the penalty area on both ends. She also has proven to be a defensive force in the middle of the field, turning foes’ attacks into USA offensive forays.
Of course, it is easier to notice what she has accomplished in the attacking end.
For country, the 28-year-old Mewis competed in eight of the nine international matches, starting six, and scoring four goals. All her goals came at the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament as she recorded back-to-back braces against Costa Rica and Mexico.
“I am very happy for Sam,” U.S. women’s national team head coach Vlatko Andonovski said in a statement. “Due to her work ethic and mentality to be the best player she can be, her every day dedication to being a professional and her sincere caring for her teammates and the team as a whole, she’s a true example of what the USWNT stands for. She has proven herself and excelled in three different environments this year and I know she has even more great times ahead in her career.”
For club, the central midfielder performed for two teams, first in five games for the North Carolina Courage in the NWSL Challenge Cup before she joined Manchester City in early August.
In 17 matches for Manchester City in the league, FA Cup, Continental Cup and UEFA Women’s Champions League, Mewis has been one of the best midfielders in the FA Women’s Super League while scoring six goals across all competitions. That has included three in the league, two in the FA Cup and one in Champions League.
Mewis helped City win the delayed FA Cup with a 3-1 victory over Everton at Wembley Stadium Nov. 1 as she became the third American, and second American woman, to score in an FA Cup Final, joining Carli Lloyd (2017) and Christian Pulisic (2020).
She also scored the game-winner in the first leg of City’s 2-1 Round of 32 UEFA Women’s Champions League match at Göteborg in Sweden. City defeated Göteborg 3-0 in the second leg at home to earn a berth into the quarterfinals.