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USWNT star Sam Mewis announces retirement from soccer

Sam Mewis last played for the USWNT in 2021. (Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)

USWNT star midfielder Sam Mewis announced her retirement from professional soccer on Friday.

A star midfielder, Mewis played a key role in the USWNT’s 2019 World Cup win. She also won three NWSL championships — one with the Western New York Flash and two with the North Carolina Courage. She also won an FA Cup with Manchester City, scoring in the team’s win. She’s one of just four Americans to win the FA Cup.

The 2020 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year, Mewis was also named the top women’s soccer player in the world by ESPN FC in 2021. In 2013, she helped the UCLA Bruins to their first NCAA championship.

Mewis has dealt with a long-term knee injury since 2017. In November of last year, she opened up about the injury on Snacks, her podcast with teammate Lynn Williams, revealing that it was a “really serious injury” to her knee cartilage. Even while dealing with the injury, Mewis returned to the USWNT and NWSL, starring at the 2019 World Cup and winning two NWSL titles with the North Carolina Courage.

Mewis played through the injury until 2021, when her knee stopped responding to rehabilitation. After winning a bronze medal at the 2021 Olympics, she played in two matches for the Kansas City Current in March 2022, but has not played since then.

She underwent two surgeries on her right knee, including one in January of last year. In November of 2023, the Kansas City Current announced that Mewis would not be returning to the team amidst the injury.

On Friday, Mewis wrote that her knee “can no longer tolerate the impact that elite soccer requires.”

“I plan to share more about the journey of my injury someday,” she wrote. “I know that there are many athletes who have faced the unique struggle of stepping away from sport early and I think these deserve to be told – and heard.”