Nearing the 70th minute of a game against Sweden in March 2014, 21-year-old Sam Mewis was called off the bench to the centre line. She was about to make her United States women’s national team (USWNT) debut.
Getting a first cap as a national player is nerve wracking, but Mewis was lucky enough to have her older sister Kristie, 23 at the time, as her teammate to be by her side through the experience.
Literally right by her side.
A few seconds after Sam was called to the line, Kristie was asked to join her. The two sisters would enter the field together with Kristie hissing advice in Sam’s ear: “Don’t panic. You’re going to be fine. Just listen to Carli. That’s all you have to do.”
That would be the last year they shared the field until 2020.
Flash forward to Nov. 17, 2020 when the sisters were both named to the USWNT roster once again. The new roster will play the Netherlands on Nov. 27 in a rematch of the 2019 FIFA World Cup final.
For Kristie, it’s been a long road back to the national team. Her last cap was at the 2014 Algarve Cup with Sam. Satisfied with being “average” and then tearing her ACL in 2018, she didn’t find much success in her NWSL career until this past season with the Houston Dash when she led the team to their first title in franchise history.
“Tearing my ACL was kind of a blessing in disguise because it woke me up a little bit,” Kristie told The Patriot Ledger. “It made me realize, ‘Kristie, what are you doing? You need to come back from this. You’re missing out on your dreams. You’re being OK with being 70-80 percent [of what you could be].’ It was hard. It was hard to admit to myself that I wasn’t happy with where I was. But I woke up one day and I was like, ‘Let’s do this. I want to get back with the national team. I want to be the best player I can be. And I still have so much time to hit my prime.’ So that’s what I’m working toward now.”
After the 2014 Algarve Cup, younger sister Sam had to wait just over a year to be invited back to train with the national team. Since then she has won three NWSL championships, the FA Cup and the 2019 World Cup title.
On the new roster Sam and Kristie will join Rose Lavelle and Julie Ertz in a stacked midfield. The two are the first pair of siblings to both be named to a USWNT roster since 1997, and the third pair in all of team history.
Before playing for the senior team together, the two shared the field representing their high school and youth national teams.
Click HERE for the USWNT’s full roster for their game against The Netherlands on Nov. 27.
Featured photo: Sam (left) and Kristie (right) Mewis. (Courtesy of ESPN.)