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Sam Mewis hopes playing with Man City can set her on course for Olympics

Sam Mewis (in red) already has won a World Cup but now aspires to Olympic gold.
Sam Mewis (in red) already has won a World Cup but now aspires to Olympic gold.Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

After competing with the North Carolina Courage in the National Women’s Soccer League this summer, Hanson native and 2019 Women’s World Cup champion Sam Mewis took her game overseas when she signed with the Manchester City women’s club Monday.

In her introductory press conference via Zoom Tuesday, the 27-year-old midfielder said her agent first approached her with the idea of playing in the FA Women’s Super League this summer. The Courage’s season ended in the NWSL Challenge Cup quarterfinals July 17. Man City’s season had resumed on June 17 after the coronavirus pandemic halted the schedule in early March.

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Mewis is quarantining in Manchester, and the club’s next game is Saturday against Lyon.

Samantha Mewis in action during an NWSL game last month.
Samantha Mewis in action during an NWSL game last month.Alex Goodlett/Getty

“I think that coming to Man City, pandemic or not, is such a great opportunity,” Mewis said. “I did hear about this a couple months ago and was obviously curious about what would happen with the NWSL for the rest of the year, but I think that playing overseas is something that’s always interested me.”

Mewis already has an impressive résumé in international play. She has 18 international goals dating back to 2016 and was a member of CONCACAF women’s championship teams in 2012 and 2018. She had two goals for the 2019 US World Cup champion team.

She hopes she can take the American aspects of the game to England, and use what she learns there to fine-tune her abilities in time to make the US Olympic team for next year’s Summer Games in Tokyo, postponed from this summer because of the pandemic. Mewis was an alternate for the 2016 Olympic team.

“I obviously want to try to make the Olympic roster,” she said. “It’s a really tough roster to make, and it’s something I haven’t done before. So part of it was ‘how can I be the best player I can be when [US coach] Vlatko [Andonovski] is making those roster decisions?’

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“It’s just a little scary doing something new and doing something that you’ve never done before. So I think I’m hoping that making this decision will continue to push me and grow my game, help me develop as a player, and then that will put me in the best position possible to try to make the Olympic roster.”

Man City is 10-3 since the restart, and Mewis said she admired the club from afar long before she decided joining them. She fondly recalled enjoying the Amazon Prime special “All or Nothing: Manchester City,” a program on the Man City men’s club, that first aired in 2018.

While Mewis said she doesn’t think her signing will lead to an influx of top American women’s stars signing overseas, she is optimistic that interest in women’s soccer in the US, sparked by the World Cup win, will increase as the NWSL grows. The Challenge Cup, which began June 27, was the first professional team sporting event to return in the US after the pandemic began.

“The NWSL is a young league and I think it’s grown really quickly and had a lot of success in that regard, so I’m rooting for the NWSL to continue to grow, as I know it will,” Mewis said.