Manchester City Signing World Cup Winner Sam Mewis Is a Huge Statement for the WSL

Sam Mewis
Mewis was part of the USA side who won the 2020 SheBelieves Cup | Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Manchester City have confirmed the signing of USA international and World Cup winner Sam Mewis from North Carolina Courage in what is a huge move for the club and the WSL.

The midfielder has 67 caps for her country, and was an integral part of the USA side that stormed to World Cup glory in France last summer.

Mewis featured regularly throughout the 2019 World Cup, starting the USA’s 2-0 victory over the Netherlands in the final. Standing at 6ft tall, the 27-year-old typifies the USWNT, who just always seem so superior to the rest of the world in every department, but particularly with their athleticism.

She can operate as a number six – offering support and an alternative option to Keira Walsh – or higher up the pitch as an energetic box-to-box midfielder. City also boast Jill Scott and Caroline Weir in the middle, as well as attacking midfielder Georgia Stanway, offering City the sort of squad depth rarely seen in the WSL.

For City, this is a huge statement signing. They were denied the 2020 WSL league title on points-per-game to Chelsea, who appeared to be pulling further ahead of their rivals following the high profile acquisitions of Australian striker Sam Kerr and Germany international Melanie Leupolz.

Lindsey Horan, Samantha Mewis, Mallory Pugh, Emily Sonnett, Rose LavelleLindsey Horan, Samantha Mewis, Mallory Pugh, Emily Sonnett, Rose Lavelle
Mewis (centre) is a World Cup winner | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

However, City have ensured they are matching Chelsea stride for stride, having already brought in Chloe Kelly from Everton – one of the WSL’s start performers during the 2019/20 season – and the blockbuster signing of Mewis.

The club are not just building a side to challenge Chelsea at the WSL summit, but one to compete with European heavyweights Lyon in the Champions League. If the addition of Mewis wasn’t enough, the Citizens are strongly tipped to secure the signings of England internationals Lucy Bronze and Alex Greenwood from Lyon following the conclusion of the Champions League at the end of August.

This is going to be one hell of a team Gareth Taylor is going to have on his hands for his first full season in senior management. No pressure.

The signing is also big news for the WSL. Mewis is arguably the second most high profile arrival in the league’s history, bettered only by Chelsea’s acquisition of Kerr.

The USWNT are the pinnacle of women’s football. For one of their key players to deem the WSL an adequate fit for their level of ability is a testament to the standard of the league.

USA internationals have graced the WSL before, but Mewis is the first one to arrive during the very peak of her career.

The iconic Carli Lloyd enjoyed a brief spell at City in 2017 – she was 34 at the time, but she’s now 38 and still going strong for club and country. However, it was only a four-month loan move. Lloyd had a quintessentially British experience during her short stint in the UK, winning the FA Cup and getting sent off for elbowing a Yeovil striker in the face seven days later.

Carli Lloyd, Samantha MewisCarli Lloyd, Samantha Mewis
Mewis treads the same path USA teammate Lloyd did three and a half years ago at City | Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Now a USWNT regular, Crystal Dunne spent a year at Chelsea in 2017. However, she was still just 24 at the time and had been left out of the USA squad for the 2015 World Cup in Canada, with her profile not quite what it is today.

Arsenal landed Heather O’Reilly – capped 231 times for her country, a three-time Olympic champion and a World Cup winner – in 2017, but this was towards the tail end of her career, having only retired from international football that summer.

With Mewis, it’s different. Like Chelsea’s capture of Kerr, City have signed a world class player at the very top of her game. With the NWSL not scheduled to begin until April 2021, the WSL is becoming the league to join.