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USWNT midfielder Sam Mewis shares update on her knee injury

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

Sam Mewis provided an update on her knee injury, which has kept her off the pitch for the U.S. women’s national team since 2021.

The USWNT and Kansas City Current midfielder underwent a second surgery on her right knee in January 2023, and she detailed her progress before and since the procedure on the latest episode of the “Snacks” podcast for Just Women’s Sports.

Her goal right now is to “get as healthy as possible,” she told co-host Lynn Williams. But Mewis, 31, described the months leading up to her decision to have the second surgery as “one of the lowest points of my life.”

The initial injury occurred during a November 2017 match for the USWNT, after which she was sidelined for about six months. While she knew she was dealing with “a really serious injury” to her knee cartilage, she returned and became an integral part of the 2019 World Cup-winning squad.

Mewis managed to play through the injury until 2021, when her knee stopped responding positively to rehabilitation, she said. She played in the Olympics, winning the bronze medal in August, but has not played for the national team since then. She played in two preseason Challenge Cup matches for the Current in March 2022, and those mark her latest appearances in a professional match.

As time went on, she kept getting presented with “worse and worse choices and options” for treatment, she said.

“I think that was the lowest point, I just felt so frozen and numb by the prospect of not getting to have the career I thought I was going to have and I thought I had worked for,” she said.

After considering all her options, she chose to undergo another knee surgery in January, which followed an arthroscopic surgery in August 2021.

Mewis described the procedure as “a big deal,” which is why she hasn’t talked about it much to this point. The surgery placed cartilage donor grafts in her knee, which she said was a “really difficult decision.”

“I felt like I had taken all of these steps to try to get back to playing and I just kind of kept hitting a wall,” she said. “I kept failing in my rehab and having to start over and try all these new things and get more injections.

“And we just had reached the end of the line, where I didn’t like any of the options that were offered to me, which were basically stop or try and get this big surgery. And so it took me like months to make this decision

“There were no guarantees when it came to the surgery either. It was a big surgery. I was on crutches for eight weeks and no impact for, like, eight months.”

Williams remained by her friend’s side as she made the decision.

“You didn’t know what the outcome of the surgery is going to be so you had to be in the right mental space to make sure you were OK with going through this really big, maybe life-changing thing,” Williams said, noting that it was hard to know how to support Mewis as she grappled with her injury.

But Mewis was glad to have Williams’ support, she said.

“I could not decide what to do. And I was so lucky to have you there with me as a friend. I just felt so conflicted,” she said, noting that she sought input from a number of surgeons. “I just wanted more opinions. I wanted somebody to tell me that there was another option and that they knew what I needed to do to fix it. I asked everybody’s opinion, I almost feel like I got too much information.

“And that made me even more conflicted. And I was really just sad. All I wanted was to play.”

Ultimately, Mewis opted for the surgery. She did her rehab at home, where she was surrounded by loved ones. And in hindsight, she believes that she made “the best decision I could with the options that I had.”

She also has gained a lot of perspective over the last couple of years, she said. Her goal now is to “get as healthy as possible.” She is still going to the gym and physical therapy, and she is working toward her goal of getting her knee back “as good as it can get.”

“It still isn’t ever like what I would have chosen,” Mewis said. “It’s so hard to talk about, because I’m in a better place now. So I’m almost laughing about it. But I really wasn’t well.”

Cameron Brink likes Caitlin Clark for 2024 WNBA Rookie of the Year

Cameron Brink poses with Caitlin Clark at 2024 wnba draft in new york
Cameron Brink poses with fellow draftee — and possible WNBA ROY —Caitlin Clark. (Photo by Emily Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images)

Cameron Brink already has her rookie of the year pick for the upcoming WNBA season, and it’s Indiana-bound star Caitlin Clark

In the latest edition of Kelley on the Street, host Kelley O'Hara caught up with Brink in New York hours before the Stanford phenom went No. 2 overall to the Los Angeles Sparks at the 2024 WNBA Draft. When O’Hara asked who would win the WNBA's rookie of the year, she answered without pause.

"Caitlin Clark," she said, while a fan commented that she thought Brink would take home the award. Brink later added that the extra foul granted to WNBA players will be "good for me."

"I hope it’s me," Charisma Osborne, who was later drafted by the Phoenix Mercury, said when asked her ROY prediction. "But, I don’t know — we’ll see."

Watch more of Kelley on the Street:

Dash winger Maria Sanchez confirms trade request a day shy of NWSL deadline

María Sanchez of Houston Dash during a NWSL game
In December, Sanchez signed a new three-year contract with the club worth $1.5 million including bonuses and an option year. (Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images)

Maria Sanchez issued a statement on Thursday, confirming recent reports that she has requested a trade from the Houston Dash. 

In it, she revealed that the club has been aware of the request "since late March."

"This has all taken a toll and isn’t an easy thing to talk about, but I want to confirm that I’ve requested an immediate trade," she wrote. "My expectations and reasons have been clear. I trust that my current club’s management will honor my decision in a timely manner and proceed with accepting a trade."

"I’m eager to refocus and dive back into what I love most: playing football," she concluded.

Reports of Sanchez's trade request first surfaced on ESPN last week, and were later confirmed by multiple sources. 

In December of last year, Sanchez signed a three-year contract with the Dash valued at $1.5 million including bonuses and an option year. It was the largest contract in NWSL history at the time — a figure that would be eclipsed by multiple contracts in the following months. 

Sanchez spent the offseason as a restricted free agent, meaning that Houston could match any other team's offer to retain her rights. Should the Dash trade Sanchez, her current contract terms would remain intact, limiting potential buyers to teams able to afford to take on an inking of that size.

The Dash has yet to address the trade, instead reiterating to ESPN that Sanchez is "under contract, a choice she made in free agency at the end of 2023." 

Both the NWSL trade window and transfer window close tonight, April 19th, at 12 a.m. ET. The window will stay closed through the next 11 regular season games, reopening on August 1st, 2024.

Seattle Storm debut state-of-the-art $64 million practice facility

Jewell Loyd #24 of the Seattle Storm during warms up during practice on July 11, 2020 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida
Jewell Loyd, seen here practicing at Florida's IMG Academy, and her team are in for a major upgrade this season. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

The four-time league champion Seattle Storm unveiled their new practice facility on Thursday, with Storm co-owner Lisa Brummel dubbing Interbay's Seattle Storm Center for Basketball Performance the team’s "new home."

"It's just such a special space," Brummel told Fox 13 Seattle. "I think when the players get here, it's gonna be overwhelming."

The sprawling 50,000-square-foot, $64 million property is just the second designated practice facility to be designed and built expressly for a WNBA team, with the Storm further noting that 85% of all design and engineering team members involved in the project's construction were women and people of color. The finished product holds two professional indoor courts, two 3x3 outdoor courts, a state-of-the-art locker room, and players' lounge, plus designated areas for strength and conditioning, kitchen, dining, and nutrition, and recovery. 

"This facility reflects our commitment to providing our athletes an exceptional environment that supports their growth, health, and performance," said Storm co-owner Ginny Gilder in an official team release. "It’s built for women, by women, embodying our dedication to leading the way in professional women’s sports."

For their part, the team can't wait to make the faciilty their own.

"It's amazing," Storm guard Jewell Loyd told Fox 13. "Not having to drive everywhere around, knowing you have access anytime of the day to get into the gym, to workout." 

Head coach Noelle Quinn said she predicts the team is "never going to leave this building."

"Which is a good thing for me," she continued. "You talk about having an edge in performance. We want our athletes to not only perform on the court, but get whatever they need."

All of the Storm's staff and operations will now live under one roof, and the team also has plans to launch a youth basketball program operating out of the building.

Mystics relocate game to accommodate Caitlin Clark fans

Maya Caldwell, Erica Wheeler, and Lexie Hull of the Indiana Fever celebrate Caitlin Clark
Get ready — Caitlin Clark is coming to town. (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Caitlin Clark effect is quickly making its mark on the big leagues, as WNBA host teams around the country rush to upgrade their Fever games to larger arenas in order to accommodate surging ticket sales.

With Clark mere weeks away from her Indiana Fever debut, both the Las Vegas Aces and Washington Mystics have officially relocated their scheduled home games with head coach Christie Sides' squad. On Thursday, the Mystics became the latest to adjust their plans, moving their June 7th matchup from Entertainment & Sports Arena in Southwest DC to the more centrally located — and much larger — Capital One Arena "due to unprecedented demand."

The Mystics home court's capacity taps out at 4,200, while Capital One Arena — home to the Wizards, Capitals, and Georgetown Hoya's Men's Basketball — can fit nearly five times that crowd at some 20,000 spectators.

"The move to Capital One Arena will allow for additional fans in the stands as well as premium hospitality options, including Suites and the all-new all-inclusive courtside Hennessy Lofts," the team announced via Thursday's press release.

The Aces were one of the first teams to switch venues, aiming to take on the Indiana Fever in front of as many as 20,000 fans inside T-Mobile Arena on July 2nd. That’s a sizable a boost from their home venue, which holds just 12,000.

For those still planning to face the Fever in their home arenas, ticket prices have skyrocketed. Previously scheduled construction has already forced the LA Sparks to relocate their first five games — including their May 24th clash with the Fever — to Long Beach State's Walter Pyramid. The temporary venue is quite the downsize, holding just 4,000 in comparison to Arena's near-19,000. As of Friday, the get-in price for that game started around $400.

Despite fans launching a petition urging relocation, the Chicago Sky say they're unable to move their June 23rd Fever meeting from Wintrust Arena's 10,000-seat facility to the 23,500-seat United Center due to a concert. Tickets for that game start around $325 as of Friday.

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