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Everything you need to know about Kristie Mewis

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Kristie Mewis has recently enjoyed a career renaissance, winning the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup and earning a spot on the United States Women’s National Team 2020 Olympic roster. The 30-year-old’s journey to the top of her game hasn’t been a straight path, however, as she has weathered injury, trades, and positional changes en route to her much-celebrated comeback.

Here’s everything you need to know about the USWNT midfielder.

Early Success in Massachusetts

Born in 1991 in Massachusetts, Mewis grew up in Hanson, a town outside of Boston, with younger sister turned-eventual-teammate Sam Mewis. Mewis’ talent was apparent from a young age, as she made a name for herself at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, shattering records and winning nearly every award available to a high school athlete.

It didn’t take long for Mewis to make history alongside sister Sam, becoming the first siblings to play on a U.S. World Cup team together when they took the pitch at the New Zealand Women’s U-17 World Cup. The Mewis sisters continued the magic, playing together again in the U-20 World Cup in Germany.

Staying close to home, Mewis attended Boston College after graduating high school, starting her collegiate career in 2009. The midfielder showed her versatility early, filling in on defense when needed while notching five goals and six assists in her rookie year. Continuing to shine in Boston, Mewis’s apex came in her senior year when she finished the season with 16 goals and 12 assists, earning a spot as a Herman Trophy Semifinalist.

NWSL debut and early USWNT career

Mewis was selected third overall in the 2013 NWSL Draft, the league’s first college draft, by FC Kansas City. In her debut season, the club finished second in the standings but was bounced from the playoffs by Portland in the semifinals.

In the same year as her NWSL debut, Mewis received her first senior national team call-up, earning her inaugural cap with the USWNT in February 2013 against Scotland. A few months later, in June of 2013, Mewis notched her first goal with the team, scoring in front of a hometown crowd against South Korea.

After receiving a series of caps with the USWNT, the Massachusetts-native fell out of the national team conversation in 2014 during the Jill Ellis era.

Mewis’ carer in the NWSL also took a turn after she was traded from Kansas City to the Boston Breakers in 2014. During her stint with the club, Mewis signed a three-month loan with Iga FC Kunoichi, a team in Japan’s Nadeshiko League, and then a one-year FC Bayern Munich in 2015.

After her two-year campaign in Boston, Mewis was traded to the Washington Spirit in exchange for Megan Oyster. During her 2017 season with the Spirit, Mewis appeared in 14 games, scoring two goals and one assist. That same year, Mewis was sent to Chicago, scoring a goal in the only game she played for the club.

Once a top NWSL draft pick, Mewis had strung together a series of consistent seasons despite moving around the league, but was perhaps falling short of the wunderkind expectations heaped onto her early in her career.

Houston Dash and ACL injury

Mewis’s career once again zagged when Chicago traded her to the Houston Dash midway through the 2017 season. Despite the midseason switch, the midfielder began to find her footing with the club, excelling with the Dash into the 2018 season. Things took a twist, however, when Mewis tore her ACL during the team’s May 2018 match against the Washington Spirit. Up until that point, Mewis had started in 11 games on the season, scoring two goals for Houston. The injury sidelined her for the remainder of the year, leaving Mewis in a precarious position.

With the benefit of hindsight, Mewis now credits her ACL tear with turning around her career. She told Jeff Kassouf on a 2020 episode of  The Equalizer’s Kickin’ Back podcast that her injury helped her find herself and reassess her career.

“I was just kind of sick of just being mediocre,” said Mewis. “I felt like I had so much more to give, but for some reason I couldn’t get in the mental and physical space to get there, and I was just like, what am I doing?”

In her return to the Dash in 2019, Mewis stepped up her game, starting in 20 matches, scoring four goals, and notching an assist in an impressive comeback season. Her compelling NWSL performance also earned Mewis her first USWNT call-up since 2013, with new coach Vlatko Andonovski inviting her to a December identification camp.

Challenge Cup and USWNT return

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the NWSL to improvise, putting on the inaugural Challenge Cup in 2020 in lieu of a regular season, allowing teams to compete in a bubble-style tournament in Utah. The Houston Dash, led by Mewis, made a surprising run to capture the Challenge Cup title, the club’s first trophy. Starting in seven matches, recording a goal and an assist, Mewis played a critical role in the team’s victory, earning herself a now-infamous Budweiser-aided celebration after the tournament.

Her dominance in the Challenge Cup also earned Mewis a call up to a full senior USWNT camp in the fall of 2020, ahead of the team’s friendly against the Netherlands. On that trip, Mewis recorded her first national team cap in six years, entering the team’s match against the Dutch in the second half. Her re-emergence into the USWNT fold would’ve been sweet enough, but Mewis wrote her name in the history books, scoring in the 70th minute, 2,722 days since her last goal with the team.

It was the longest any player had ever gone in between goals for the USWNT.

The 30-year-old’s triumph marked a full-circle moment for Mewis, who had committed herself to get back on the pitch with the U.S. following her ACL injury.

“I just was so motivated and so determined, and I knew that I just had to get back on the national team because that was obviously my ultimate goal,” Mewis told her sister Sam and teammate Lynn Williams on the Snacks podcast.

Mewis’ success with the USWNT continued through 2021, as she clinched a spot on Andonovski’s Tokyo Olympic roster alongside sister Sam Mewis.

What Comes Next

Mewis, left unprotected in the 2022 NWSL Expansion Draft by Houston, was selected by the San Diego Wave before being traded to Gotham FC. The star midfielder will join a stacked NJ/NY roster, including MVP nominee Margaret Purce and Defender of the Year Caprice Dydasco. With the 2023 World Cup cycle on the horizon, Mewis will also look to make a case for her place in a competitive USWNT midfield pool.

Alyssa Naeher’s goalkeeper jersey sells out in less than three hours

uwnt goalie alyssa naeher wears jersey on the field with club team chicago red stars
USWNT star keeper Alyssa Naeher's new replica NWSL jersey was an instant success. (Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports)

For the first time in the NWSL's 12-year history, fans can now buy their own goalkeeper jerseys. And while replica goalkeeper jerseys representing all 14 NWSL teams hit the market on Wednesday, some didn't stick around for long. 

Fans across women's soccer have long vocalized their discontent over the position's lack of availability on social media, often comparing the shortcoming to the widespread availability of men’s goalkeeper jerseys. And as the NWSL has grown, so has demand — and not just from those in the stands. 

"To have goalkeeper kits available for fans in the women’s game as they have been for so long in the men’s game is not only a long-awaited move in the right direction, it’s just good business," said Washington Spirit goalie Aubrey Kingsbury in an team press release. "I can’t wait to see fans representing me, Barnie [Barnhart], and Lyza in the stands at Audi!"

Business does, in fact, appear to be booming. Alyssa Naeher’s Chicago Red Stars kit sold out less than three hours after the league's announcement. Jerseys for other keepers like DiDi Haračić, Abby Smith, Michelle Betos, Katelyn Rowland, and Bella Bixby aren’t currently available via the Official NWSL Shop, though blank goalkeeper jerseys can be customized through some individual team sites. Jerseys start at $110 each.

"This should be the benchmark," said Spirit Chief Operations Officer Theresa McDonnell. "The expectation is that all players’ jerseys are available to fans. Keepers are inspiring leaders and mentors with their own unique fan base who want to represent them... I can’t wait to see them all over the city."

Simone Biles talks Tokyo Olympics fallout in new interview

gymnast simone biles on a balance beam
Biles' candid interview shed light on the gymnast's internal struggle. (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Decorated gymnast Simone Biles took to the popular Call Her Daddy podcast this week to open up about her experience at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, revealing she thought she was going to be "banned from America" for her performance.

After Biles botched her vault routine due to a bout of the "twisties," she withdrew from the team final as well as the all-around final in order to focus on her mental health. She later reentered the competition to win bronze in the individual balance beam final.

In her interview with podcast host Alex Cooper, Biles admitted to feeling like she let the entire country down by failing her vault attempt.

"As soon as I landed I was like 'Oh, America hates me. The world is going to hate me. I can only see what they’re saying on Twitter right now,'" she recalled thinking. "I was like, ‘Holy s---, what are they gonna say about me?'"

"I thought I was going to be banned from America," she continued. "That’s what they tell you: Don’t come back if not gold. Gold or bust. Don’t come back."

Widely regarded as the greatest gymnast of all time, Biles has hinted at a desire to join her third Olympic team in Paris, though her participation won't be confirmed until after the gymnastics trials in late June. She holds over 30 medals from the Olympic Games and World Artistic Gymnastics Championships combined, and if qualified, would be a sure favorite heading into this summer’s games.

Caitlin Clark reportedly nearing $20 million+ Nike deal

Caitlin Clark #22 of the Indiana Fever poses for a portrait at Gainbridge Fieldhouse during her introductory press conference
WNBA-bound Caitlin Clark is said to be closing in on a monumental NIke deal. (Photo by Matt Kryger/NBAE via Getty Images)

Caitlin Clark is reportedly close to cementing a hefty endorsement deal with Nike.

The Athletic was the first to break the news Wednesday evening, commenting that the deal would be worth "eight figures" and include her own signature shoe. On Thursday afternoon, the publication tweeted that the deal would top $20 million, according to lead NBA Insider Shams Charania. Both Under Armour and Adidas are said to have also made sizable offers to the college phenom and expected future WNBA star.

The new agreement comes after Clark's previous Nike partnership ended with the conclusion of the college basketball season. She was one of five NCAA athletes to sign an NIL deal with the brand back in October, 2022. 

Considering Clark's overwhelming popularity and Nike's deep pockets, the signing's purported value doesn't exactly come as a shock. New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu’s deal with the brand is reportedly worth $24 million, while NBA rookie and No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama’s deal is rumored to weigh in at $100 million. And in 2003, LeBron James famously earned $90 million off his own Nike deal. 

Clark’s star power continues to skyrocket, with the NCAA championship averaging 18.9 million viewers and the 2024 WNBA Draft more than doubling its previous viewership record. Following the draft, Fanatics stated that Clark's Indiana Fever jersey — which sold out within an hour — was the top seller for any draft night pick in the company’s history, with droves of unlucky fans now being forced to wait until August to get their hands on some official No. 22 gear.

In Wednesday's Indiana Fever introductory press conference, the unfailingly cool, calm, and collected Clark said that turning pro hasn’t made a huge impact on how she’s conducting her deals.

"If I’m being completely honest, I feel like it doesn’t change a ton from how I lived my life over the course of the last year," she said. "Sponsorships stay the same. The people around me, agents and whatnot, have been able to help me and guide me through the course of the last year. I don’t know if I would be in this moment if it wasn’t for a lot of them."

Star slugger Jocelyn Alo joins Athletes Unlimited AUX league

softball star jocelyn alo rounds the bases at an oklahoma sooners game
Former Oklahoma star Jocelyn Alo has signed with Athletes Unlimited. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Former Oklahoma slugger Jocelyn Alo has signed on with Athletes Unlimited and will compete in the AU Pro Softball AUX this June.

The NCAA record holder in career home runs (122), total bases (761), and slugging percentage (.987), Alo was originally drafted by the league in 2022 but opted instead to join the newly debuted Women’s Professional Fastpitch

Alo currently plays for independent pro softball team Oklahoma City Spark, with team owner Tina Floyd reportedly on board with her recent AUX signing. AUX games are scheduled for June 10-25, while the Spark's season will kick off June 19th. Alo will play for both. 

Among those joining Alo on the AUX roster are former James Madison ace pitcher Odicci Alexander and former Wichita State standout middle infielder Sydney McKinney.

According to Alo, the decision to play in the Athletes Unlimited league was fueled by her desire to propel women's sports forward as well as provide more exposure to a sport that's given her "so many opportunities."

"Not only to challenge myself more, but just for the growth of the game," Alo said, explaining her reasoning to The Oklahoman. "I genuinely believe that professional softball can be a career for girls."

Joining AUX is also one more step in her plan toward representing Team USA at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

"I’m constantly thinking about how can I do these little things right in these four years to prepare me for the biggest stage of softball," she told The Oklahoman. "I definitely want to play in the Olympics, for sure."

Alo further expressed enthusiasm in the hope that the rise of other women’s sports, like women’s basketball and the NWSL, will push softball’s professional viability even higher.

"We’re seeing the NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League) get their stuff going, I see the WNBA starting to get hot," she continued. "I feel like the softball community is like, 'All right, it’s our turn and it’s our turn to just demand more.'"

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