Kristie Mewis is headed to her first World Cup with the U.S. women’s national team. But the wait for the call from head coach Vlatko Andonovski was “very painful,” she shared Wednesday.
After a morning of training for Gotham FC, the 32-year-old midfielder waited alone in her apartment until the call came at 4 p.m.
“So it was a very draining, emotional, wait-around day,” she told reporters Wednesday.
When she answered the FaceTime from Andonovski, who told her she would join the USWNT’s 23-player roster for the tournament in Australia and New Zealand, the emotions hit her.
“I think I started crying before I even saw Vlatko’s face on the FaceTime, just because everything was coming into that moment,” Mewis said. “I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life to hear those words.”
Kristie 😂📸: kmewis19/IG pic.twitter.com/epc1W4U1UR— Just Women’s Sports (@justwsports) June 22, 2023
Kristie 😂📸: kmewis19/IG pic.twitter.com/epc1W4U1UR
The countdown to the World Cup roster drop officially started after the USWNT’s April training camp. But for Mewis, the wait seemed much longer.
While she made her debut for the senior national team in 2013, she spent five years off the team and missed out on the 2015 and 2019 World Cups. On Wednesday, she described herself as a “bubble player,” though she has made every USWNT camp since before the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
Of the 14 players making their World Cup debuts for the USWNT in 2023, Mewis is the oldest.
Her parents, her sister — injured USWNT star Sam Mewis — and her girlfriend — Australia star Sam Kerr — served as her “absolute rocks” through the grueling process. She called all of them in turn as soon as she hung up with Andonovski.
“I called my girlfriend immediately. I called my parents. I called my sister,” she said. “They all have been such huge, huge people in my life through this process, because I’m sure I’ve been such a pain in the ass because I’ve been so stressed for so long.”
After the USWNT roster was revealed Wednesday, Kerr congratulated Mewis on Instagram. But she also noted: “Last time I’ll cheer for you is today.”
Kerr is the top player for the Matildas in their home World Cup, which kicks off on July 20. She and Mewis started dating during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they did not go public with their relationship until they made headlines at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. And they’re both ready to give everything they have this summer.
“We’re just raging for the next six months to the World Cup, doing whatever we can,” Kerr told soccer lifestyle magazine Gaffer in an interview with Mewis earlier this year. “We both feel like we’ve been gunning for this World Cup for so long now that it’s kind of going to be like we’re just giving everything for the next six months and then it’s gonna be like a breath of fresh air.”
The Equalizer’s Jeff Kassouf shared Mewis’ full comments on her World Cup call from Wednesday’s Gotham FC news conference.
Kristie Mewis made her #USWNT debut 10 years ago. Last week, she got the call that she was finally going to a World Cup. I asked her about the moment in light of all that waiting... and there was a little more waiting around that day. Her full answer is worth hearing. pic.twitter.com/BYnsYnMy1N— Jeff Kassouf (@JeffKassouf) June 23, 2023
Kristie Mewis made her #USWNT debut 10 years ago. Last week, she got the call that she was finally going to a World Cup. I asked her about the moment in light of all that waiting... and there was a little more waiting around that day. Her full answer is worth hearing. pic.twitter.com/BYnsYnMy1N