The U.S. women’s national team bowed out early at the 2023 World Cup. But the 2024 Olympics are just around the corner, and Sam Mewis expects the USWNT to contend for the gold medal.
The 30-year-old midfielder starred at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 but has not appeared for the USWNT since then due to a lingering knee injury. After a second surgery on her knee in January, she is taking her recovery “one day at a time,” and she still wants to return to the pitch, she told GOAL in July.
The USWNT would benefit from a healthy Sam Mewis at the Paris Games, with the women’s tournament set to kick off on July 25, 2024, in France. And while Mewis did not address her own recovery, she expressed optimism in the USWNT’s chances on Just Women’s Sports‘ World Cup podcast “The 91st.”
“We have a lot of young players. Some players that have been injured who could be back,” she said. “So I am really excited to see the U.S. have this quick turnaround. What we can do to come back and be a contender in just a year?”
Mewis identified several other teams — in addition to World Cup champion Spain — that could make a run at the gold medal. Take Sweden, who finished in third place at the World Cup but has been knocking at the door of a championship for years.
“Sweden has been at the top for a bunch of tournaments in a row,” she said. “My gosh, they had such an incredible tournament and to just see it slip away from them was really disappointing.”
England and Japan also impressed her with their play, as did up-and-comers Nigeria and Colombia, “who pushed further than people maybe expected,” she noted.
While her USWNT teammate Midge Purce poked fun at Mewis for choosing too many teams as possible contenders, Mewis said she remains content to be “a diplomat” as she evaluates the field for next year’s tournament.