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The Sam Mewis Effect: USWNT Star Is Thriving For Manchester City

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 23: Manchester City’s Sam Mewis in action during the pre-season friendly between Manchester City Women and Everton at Manchester City Football Academy on August 23, 2020 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Tom Flathers/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

When news of Sam Mewis signing with Manchester City broke back in August, it sent NWSL fans everywhere into a frenzy. In only three seasons with the North Carolina Courage, Mewis had proven herself a highly valuable asset, clocking a grand total of 5,121 minutes of playing time, scoring 14 goals and assisting 11 since 2017.

Still skeptical about her lethality in the midfield? Mewis has the hardware to back it – in her first season with the Courage, she was named to the NWSL Best XI and was a finalist for the NWSL Most Valuable Player Award. Since Mewis’ arrival with the team, the Courage have won three consecutive NWSL Shields in 2017, 2018, and 2019, and most recently were the victors of back-to-back NWSL championships in 2018 and 2019.

Mewis’ stats with the Courage are certainly impressive, and her time with the USWNT has been likewise dominant. In 67 appearances for her country, Mewis has 18 goals, two of which were in the 2019 Women’s World Cup, and 6 assists. Most importantly, she was hoisting the World Cup trophy with her teammates a little over a year ago, sealing her status as a world champion in her fifth season as a professional player… and at only 27 years old.

In terms of Mewis’ move to the Women’s Super League, there had been speculation back in July that Mewis and fellow USWNT teammate Rose Lavelle were headed to Manchester City following the NWSL Challenge Cup. On July 23rd, Meg Linehan, a staff writer at The Athletic, reported that Sam Mewis had already signed with Man. City while Lavelle was still weighing an offer from the club. The headline gained traction immediately and was met with a mixture of shock, excitement, and disbelief, particularly from fans of the North Carolina Courage and the Washington Spirit.

A few weeks later, on August 10th, Mewis’ signing was confirmed by multiple sources, Mewis herself included. In a statement to the North Carolina Courage team, staff, and fans, she wrote, “I have grown so much with this team thanks to the constant challenges from the staff, the love and dedication from my teammates, and the unwavering support from our fans. I’m forever indebted to this club for showing me what it takes to win consistently, and I hope that I’ve demonstrated my gratitude over the years,” Mewis continued, “North Carolina will always have a piece of my heart, and I’m hoping there will be an opportunity to return whenever my time in Manchester concludes.”

As you might guess, Mewis’ arrival in the UK was met with monstrous expectations. Would her talents transfer over to her new team? How long would it take for her to find her “groove” in the Man. City lineup? Would she become an integral part of their midfield? Thus far, the answer has been a resounding “yes.” Beginning as early as a pre-season friendly against Everton, in which Mewis scored a goal and recorded two assists in only 45 minutes of play, the American has left quite an early impression.

With the regular season now well underway, Mewis has continued to exceed the hype, notching two goals for her new club in only five appearances. One of those goals? A game-winner against Arsenal to send Man. City into the Women’s FA Cup Final, of course.

The question is no longer whether Mewis can be an impact player in the FA Women’s Super League. Already, she’s proven to have not missed a step in her transition across the pond. What remains to be seen is if she can carry her new club when it counts the most and add to the the Blues’ already extensive trophy case. Mewis will get her first chance this weekend: tune in this Sunday as Manchester City takes on Everton in the FA Cup Final at 9:30am EST.

WHAT’S NEXT IN THE FA WSL:

 

November 7th:

Manchester City vs. Bristol City @ 10:00 a.m. EST

November 8th:

Chelsea vs. Everton @ 7:00 a.m. EST

Manchester United vs. Arsenal @ 7:00 a.m. EST

Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Aston Villa @ 9:00 a.m. EST

Birmingham City vs. West Ham United @ 9:00 a.m. EST

Tottenham vs. Reading FC @ 9:00 a.m. EST

Serena Williams is ‘super interested’ in owning a WNBA team

Serena Williams speaks on stage during keynote conversation at 2019 conference in San Jose, California
The tennis icon is all in on women's sports — and the WNBA is right on her heels. (Photo by Marla Aufmuth/WireImage via Getty Images)

Could Serena Williams co-own a WNBA team in the near future? 

Speaking with CNN on Monday, Williams expressed her interest in that potential — as well as the mounting enthusiasm for women’s sports around the world. 

"I think women’s sport is having a moment that it should have always had," Williams said. "I feel like tennis has had its moment. It’s international, and it’s huge, and it’s always gonna be there.

"Now it’s time to lift up other sports — women’s soccer, women’s basketball — there’s so many other sports that women do so great, let’s put it on that platform. Women’s basketball is getting there, and it’s arrived."

When asked if she had any interest in adding a WNBA team to her roster of ownership stakes, the tennis great welcomed the idea. "I absolutely would be," Williams said. "With the right market, I would definitely be super interested in that."

"There is no risk — women’s sport is exciting," Williams added, citing the 2024 NCAA women's tournament's record-breaking viewership as evidence. "People are realizing that it is exciting to watch, so it's an overly safe bet."

Williams may not need to wait long to act on that bet. On Monday, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said that she is "pretty confident" the league will expand to 16 teams — up from its current 12 — by 2028. 

The goal, she said, is to reach 14 by 2026. Oakland's Golden State is already on track to launch the league's 13th team in 2025. The move will mark the WNBA's first new franchise since the Atlanta Dream debuted in 2008.

"It's complex because you need the arena and practice facility and player housing and all the things," Engelbert said at a press conference before Monday's WNBA draft. "You need committed long-term ownership groups, and so the nice thing is we're getting a lot of calls."

Engelbert went on to name a few of the cities behind those calls, saying that the league continues to engage in discussions with Philadelphia, Toronto, Portland, Denver, and Nashville, as well as South Florida.

"These can either take a very long time to negotiate or it can happen pretty quickly if you find the right ownership group with the right arena situation," Engelbert added.

The Commissioner's 16 team goal is not only good news for WNBA fans, it's great news for current and future WNBA players. At 12 teams with just 12 roster spots each, the league is held to a total of 144 players for any given season. An abundance of fresh talent coming up through the NCAA ranks has put pressure on the organization to make room for more worthy competitors, and four additional teams might be just the ticket.

Hellen Obiri claims back-to-back Boston Marathon wins

Hellen Obiri, winner of the women's division of the Boston Marathon, poses with the Boston Marathon trophy
Hellen Obiri, winner of the 2024 Boston Marathon's women's division, poses with her trophy. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Kenyan runner Hellen Obiri won the 128th Boston Marathon on Monday, becoming the first woman to claim back-to-back titles since 2005.

She clocked a total time of 2 hours, 27 minutes, and 37 seconds in a women's division that race organizers described as "historically fast."

"Defending the title was not easy," Obiri said. "Since Boston started, it's only six women [that have repeated]. If you want to be one of them, you have to work extra hard. And I'm so happy because I'm now one of them — I'm now in the history books."

A two-time Olympic silver medalist and two-time 5000m world champion, Obiri is a clear favorite in this summer’s Paris Olympics.

“Last year I was pretty familiar to the marathon, but this year my training was perfect — we trusted everything we were doing,” Obiri said. “When we won last year, of course I was saying I’m going to win this one. Winning is like love. It’s something precious to me.”

Though, she wasn’t without a challenge. Fellow Kenyan Sharon Lokedi finished a mere eight seconds behind Obiri. Edna Kiplagat, who won the 2017 Boston Marathon, completed the podium sweep for Kenya with a third place finish.

Emma Bates, the race's top American finisher, came in 12th.

Obiri wasn't alone in making Boston Marathon history this year. The repeat champ walked away with $150,000 in total prize money allocated from a purse that topped $1 million for the first time ever. 

College rivals Angel Reese, Kamilla Cardoso drafted to the Chicago Sky

Angel Reese and Kamilla Cardoso competing at the NCAA SEC Conference Tournament Championship
Once rivals, Angel Reese and Kamilla Cardoso are now teammates. (Jim Dedmon/USA TODAY Sports)

The Chicago Sky made a splash in Monday night’s WNBA draft, taking Kamilla Cardoso and Angel Reese in the first round. 

South Carolina’s Cardoso, who was the 2024 Final Four Most Outstanding Player, went third to the Sky. The day before, the team had swapped picks with the Minnesota Lynx to land the No. 7 pick as well, which they used on Reese, the 2023 Final Four MOP.

Now, the two will team up in Chicago after battling each other in both college and high school

"She’s a great player, and I’m a great player. Nobody's going to get no rebounds on us," Cardoso joked afterwards, while Reese expressed excitement about playing under new Sky head coach Teresa Weatherspoon.

"Being able to be a Black woman and as a head coach, and everything she's done at the NBA level, I just knew everything they were bringing to the table," Reese said of the Sky. "Player development is something that I was looking for and they looked for in me. I'm super excited for this move."

Former NBA star and Chicago Sky co-owner Dwayne Wade welcomed the pair to Chicago.

“The foundation is set,” he wrote.

The Sky have entered re-building mode after winning a WNBA title in 2021. This offseason, they traded franchise cornerstone Kahleah Copper to the Phoenix Mercury for a package that included the No. 3 picked used on Cardoso.

Now, Cardoso and Reese will be looking to jump-start the team's return to contention.

Watch: Iowa star Kate Martin’s draft moment goes viral

Kate Martin poses with Cathy Engelbert after being drafted by the Las Vegas Aces during the 2024 WNBA Draft in New York
2nd-round pick Kate Martin poses with Cathy Engelbert Commissioner of the WNBA at the 2024 draft. (Photo by Catalina Fragoso/NBAE via Getty Images)

Former Iowa captain Kate Martin was in the audience during Monday night’s draft when she was selected 18th overall by the Las Vegas Aces. 

The moment quickly went viral, as Martin was in the crowd to support superstar teammate Caitlin Clark going No. 1 overall, and was not one of the 14 players invited to the draft.

"To be honest, I don't think I'd have the type of career if I don't have a teammate like Kate," Clark said about Martin leading up to the 2024 national championship game. "She's been one that has had my back. She holds me accountable. I hold her accountable. But I think at the same time, me and Kate are wired so similarly that we get each other on a different level."

Martin being drafted marks the first time that Iowa has had two players selected in the same WNBA draft since 1998.

“She's one of the best leaders I've been around," Clark said. "She wants the best for her teammates. She's one of the most selfless people."

Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said Monday that she is “so proud” of her player, “because her dreams came true.”

"She has been such a big part of our program over the last six years,” she said. “Her efforts did not go unnoticed by her peers. I wish Kate all the success with this next step.”

Martin said afterward that she’s “excited for the opportunity” and to showcase her “really good” work ethic. Helping Iowa to back-to-back NCAA title games, Martin finished her college career with 1,299 points, 756 rebounds and 473 assists.

“There are a lot of emotions right now,” Martin said in an interview on ESPN. “I’m really happy to be here. I was here to support Caitlin, but I was hoping to hear my name called. All I wanted was an opportunity and I got it. I’m really excited.”

While Martin was watching from the crowd, her family was watching from back home.

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