In the last year, U.S. WNT midfielder Samantha Mewis has seen her role shift and evolve. She first broke into the team on a more consistent basis in the latter part of 2015, but it wasn’t until late in 2016 that she began to feature more prominently in the starting lineup.
In 2017, she has started all nine games the USA has played this year and has been on the field for 773 minutes, second-most on the team behind Becky Sauerbrunn’s 810 minutes, while becoming an important part of the USA’s midfield dynamic.
Despite the confidence the coaching staff has placed in her, the six-foot Massachusetts native – the tallest field player ever to play for the USA -- knows it would be unwise to ever allow herself to get comfortable on the U.S. team as the competition to earn, keep, or regain a starting role never ceases.
“Every day is a new challenge here,” Mewis said of the WNT environment. “I’m still trying to just absorb as much as I can and grow as a player and as a person. It’s always an honor to play on this team but I don’t expect anything. Every day is a new day and every game is a new game, so each time we come in here we have to earn something and we have to fight for something, and that’s what makes this team so special.”
Besides her acumen in the center of the field, her savvy passing skills and ball-winning abilities in the air and on the ground, she can also score. Against Brazil on July 30, Mewis scored her first goal of 2017, and the fifth of her career, with a grass-cutter from just outside the penalty area to even the match at 1-1 in the 18th minute.
“Playing in the middle of the field in a high-level international game is definitely a challenge,” she said. “It’s fast and physical but also fun when you’re involved. It’s been great for me to get to play against these countries.
“No matter what role you’re playing on this team, there’s always something to learn from it. I feel like last year, being a more supportive player, I gained so much from that and from watching. This year, I’ve been fortunate enough to be playing a lot which has been very cool and I’m still learning so much every day. I think every experience that I’ve had has been so valuable. This evolving role has been very interesting for me.”
With more than a year until CONCACAF qualifying for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the future should prove to be even more interesting, and educational, exciting and fulfilling, for Mewis and her teammates.