Kristie Mewis has spent the majority of her soccer career playing in Boston. It was only fitting that the Hanson, Mass native would notch her first United States Women’s National team goal in front of her hometown fans.
Mewis started Saturday’s friendly against South Korea at left back and made an impact immediately for Tom Sermanni’s side. Sydney Leroux tore through the right side of the penalty box and her shot came off of the keeper. The ball fell to Mewis who finished her left footed shot into an empty net.
(Photo Courtesy of US Soccer and ISIPhotos)
The goal capped off a whirlwind six months for the former Boston College midfielder that has taken her around the country – and the globe.
Following an early exit from the NCAA tournament , Mewis started working out on her own, expecting that she’d still be in Boston to prepare for the inaugural NWSL season. Instead, the 22-year-old got an opportunity to travel halfway around the world to Australia.
“Then I actually got invited to Australia over Christmas break for two weeks (the first two weeks in January),” said Mewis. “So I guest played over there for two games. I just thought it would be good to go over there, get a couple games in, play a little bit with the team and stuff like that.”
Mewis featured for Canberra United in the Westfield W-League for the final two matches of the season. Her time down under was impressive, playing full 90s and notching a goal in each match.
From Australia, it was back to the United States just before the 2013 National Women’s Soccer League College Draft where it was expected that Mewis would be one of the top picks. She was selected as no. 3 overall by FC Kansas City on January 18.
“It feels great just because I’ve always wanted to play in the States, I’ve always wanted to play professional women’s soccer in the States” said Mewis of the opportunity. “I know that a lot of girls have gone overseas and I did consider doing that, but I think it’s just really special to play in the United States, to play in the league where it’s supposed to be the most successful one that we’re going to have. To be able to be a part of that and to be able to hopefully influence how well the league does is just a really special feeling.”
Despite her travels around the world with the United States youth national teams (including New Zealand, Germany and Portugal amongst others), Mewis has stayed in the Boston area having chose to play collegiately at nearby Boston College. Upon being drafted, she was most eager for the chance to break out of her comfort zone.
“I’ve never been in Kansas City,” said Mewis. “I’ve never been out there before, I’ve never stayed there before so I’m actually really looking forward to the experience of living somewhere where I’m not really that comfortable, where I’ve never been before. I’ve been in Boston my whole life and I’ve travelled out to LA for national camps, been outside of the country a bunch of times but I’m really looking forward to just trying something new and being in a new area, being in a new place with new players.”
There is always a certain amount of pressure that comes with being one of the best in the group. Mewis is no stranger to pressure having played in World Championships at the youth levels (U-17 and U-20) and while it would be daunting to some, Mewis relishes the pressure and wants to use it as fuel to keep getting better.
“I think so, yeah,” said Mewis of the pressure to perform. “But I like the pressure. It’s an honor to be considered one of the top five players in my age group so I like the pressure. Obviously there is pressure to be one of the better players out there, but I think that it’s only going to make me more determined to make me a better player overall.”
But, before NWSL expectations could even begin to be met, Mewis was called into camp with the full US Women’s National team in February in preparation for Tom Sermanni’s first two matches – a pair of friendlies against Scotland. The mostly left midfielder (but sometimes left back) was called into camp. She’d spent time with the team in 2011 and 2012 as the US team prepared for the World Cup in Germany and the London Olympics.
It was off to Jacksonville first.
After being cut (and being one of the last cuts on the Olympic team), Mewis earned her first cap against Scotland on February 9 in Jacksonville, coming on for Christen Press in the 72nd minute.
She has played in friendly matches in the United States, Germany and Canada and was a part of the team that travelled to Portugal for the Algarve Cup at the start of March.
After the second leg in the pair of South Korea friendlies on June 20, it will be back to Kansas City where Mewis will finish out the season with the Blues who currently sit in fourth place. She has started all eight matches that she’s been in attendance for and has recorded one assist.
You can follow Kristie Mewis on Twitter @KristieMewie. She returns to action with FC Kansas City on June 23 when the Blues host the Washington Spirit at 8:35pm ET/7:35pm CT.