CHICAGO (January 19, 2024) – Midfielder Samantha Mewis, one of the most decorated winners in U.S. Soccer history, has officially announced her retirement from professional soccer.
Mewis, 31, was a key member of the U.S. team that won the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, playing in six of the seven matches while starting five. She scored two goals in that tournament and had three assists. She started the World Cup Final victory over the Netherlands, playing the full 90 minutes and assisting on Rose Lavelle’s now famous game-clinching goal. Video of her tears of happiness after the final whistle went viral.
“Unfortunately, my knee can no longer tolerate the impact that elite soccer requires,” said Mewis, whose next career step will be a move into media as editor-in-chief of the new women’s vertical, The Women’s Game, on the Men in Blazers Media Network. “Though this isn't what I wanted, this is the only path forward for me. I want to thank everyone who has been on my team throughout this journey. Soccer has put so many wonderful things in my life, but the most wonderful thing has been the people. To all my family, friends, teammates, and fans, I truly feel that we did this together and I’m extremely grateful.”
The six-foot Mewis was for years the USWNT’s tallest-ever player and earned the moniker “Tower of Power” for her physical and dynamic play in the midfield. With smooth skills, her unique size, and ability to cover ground to win tackles and balls in the air, she became a fan favorite and an extremely popular player among her teammates. She was also exceedingly humble and the ultimate team player during her career, which included eight years for the USWNT, and she finishes with 83 caps while scoring an impressive 24 goals out of midfield. GoalPoint website’s statistical data showed her to be the top player at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup based on several key performance indicators, most notably ball recoveries, defensive actions and aerial challenges.
In 2020, Mewis was voted the U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year, making her one of just 20 women to win U.S. Soccer’s most prestigious award. In 2021, during a highly successful stint with Manchester City in England, she was named #1 on ESPN FC’s list of the world’s best women’s soccer players.
During her time in Manchester, Mewis scored in the 2020 FA Cup Final win over Everton, joining Rose Lavelle, a teammate on that 2020 Man City side; Carli Lloyd, who also lifted the FA Cup for Man City; and U.S. Men’s National Team standout Christian Pulisic (with Chelsea) as the only Americans to win the FA Cup.
Mewis is one of the few players in U.S. history to win a FIFA youth Women’s World Cup, a senior Women’s World Cup, a professional championship (she won three) and an NCAA title. She finished her U-20 WNT career with 38 career caps and seven goals. She ended her U-17 WNT career with 13 caps and eight goals.
She was part of the famed U.S. team that defeated Germany 1-0 in the title game to win the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan, a squad that also included future World Cup winners Crystal Dunn, Julie Johnston (now Ertz) and Morgan Brian (now Gautrat). Mewis also played in the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany and the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand, two tournaments in which she was on the team with her older sister Kristie, as they became the first and thus far only sisters to play for the USA at a World Cup.
Mewis won three NWSL titles, one with the Western New York Flash and two with the North Carolina Courage. In 2013, Mewis helped lead the UCLA Bruins to their first NCAA Championship.
Mewis was hampered by ankle and knee injuries during the latter part of her career, which came to a halt in 2022 when the chronic injuries became too serious to continue playing at a high level. She underwent major knee surgery in January of 2023 but would not return to the field.
Mewis’ international career overlapped with that of her older sister, but due to her recent injuries, and Kristie’s absence from the National Team for a long spell, in addition to an ACL injury for the elder Mewis, it was only for a brief time. They did play on the 2021 Olympic Team together, the first sisters to do so, and played 12 total matches together for the USWNT, the most-ever for a sister duo in USWNT history. The first of those 12 games was Samantha’s first cap, which came against Sweden on March 7, 2014, at the Algarve Cup in Portugal. At that match, in a truly unique experience, they entered the game as substitutes at the same time.
In a January 18, 2021, victory over Colombia, the sisters scored all four goals in the 4-0 win, three for Samantha and one for Kristie. In a quirky record that will likely never be broken, the Mewis sisters scored five consecutive goals for the USWNT - the last goal of the game by Kristie on Nov. 27 against the Netherlands, the first three in the win over Colombia on Jan. 18 by Samantha and the final goal on Jan. 18 by Kristie.
At the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, Samantha scored a crucial goal against the Netherlands on a diving header and had an assist to help the USA eventually win a bronze medal. Her final match in a U.S. uniform was the 4-3 victory over Australia in the bronze medal match on Aug. 5, 2021, in Kashima, Japan.
A native of Hanson, Mass., Mewis grew up outside of Boston. She attended Whitman-Hanson High School (where was the National High School Player of the Year) and played club soccer for Scorpions SC, which propelled her to Youth National Team stardom and all the way across the country to play at UCLA, where she won numerous awards, setting the stage for her future professional and international glory.