USWNT midfielder Sam Mewis says her “ears perked up” when she found out Manchester City were interested in her this summer.
The 27-year-old was announced as the club’s second signing of the transfer window on Monday, signing a deal that saw her leave the North Carolina Courage after a trophy-laden three-year spell.
Speaking to the press on Tuesday, she admitted her admiration for the club stems from watching the behind-the-scenes documentary of the men’s team, ‘All or Nothing’ – and from watching the brilliance of Kevin De Bruyne.
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“I know you guys will roll your eyes, but I do like Man City,” she told reporters.
“I really like Kevin De Bruyne. I’d try to emulate him if I could!
“I watched the Amazon series a couple of times and I really admire the way the men’s team operates so I’m excited for their next couple of weeks.
“I think when I look back on my career, overseas is something I wanted to do. It will add some depth and experience to my game and Man City is an incredible club.
“I didn’t know I’d get a chance like this so when I first heard about it my ears definitely perked up.
“I’ve had good things from players on my national team who have played here before and I think playing for a club with this reputation is exciting for me.”
Mewis admits that she hasn’t watched much of the FA Women’s Super League in the past, but she is well aware of the talents within City’s ranks – particularly after facing many of those in the England set-up during the United States’ 2-1 semi-final win at last year’s World Cup.
“I know a bunch of the midfielders here and they’re so talented. Keira [Walsh], Jill [Scott] and I remember watching Caroline [Weir] during the World Cup and thinking she was such a great player, so smart and tactical,” she said.
“I have to earn my playing time and perform well to make sure I get out there on the field. I hope I can bring my attacking mindset.
“In America we play a very aggressive style and while I’ll have to adapt, I hope I can bring that to Manchester City.”
With the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) regular season cut to just a month-long cup competition, the Challenge Cup, earlier this year, there are doubts over how much game time the players in the States will get this year, leading to many looking for moves to Europe.
But Mewis insists that she did not seek a switch away from the Courage, who she has won two NWSL championships with, and that the move is something that would appeal to her in any circumstance.
“I think there was a lot of uncertainty for such a long time that it had crossed my mind, but I wasn’t actively seeking anything out,” she added.
“I told Paul Riley [head coach of the Courage] about this chance and he was great about it. We have a great relationship and a good understanding and I knew I had his understanding and support in making a decision that was really good for me at this time.
“We had a lot of success with the Courage and we were such a talented team, [but] I’ve always wanted to play overseas and I feel like playing Champions League is on every player’s bucket list. The prospect of winning something I haven’t won before is really exciting.
“What really drew me here is that desire to keep developing, to keep growing and to add new depths and skills to my game. Competing for something new is an exciting part of that.”
Regardless of what happens with the NWSL over the next year, Mewis’ move will guarantee her a lot of playing time before the USWNT head to the rescheduled Olympics in 2021.
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With a reduced number of places up for grabs when compared to a World Cup tournament, it becomes an even tougher job to get there, but the midfielder hopes she is in the right place to ensure she does.
“It’s a tough roster to make, I’ve never made it, so part of me is thinking, ‘How can I be in the best position possible?’
“It’s a little scary doing something new but I’m hoping that making this decision will continue to push me, develop me as a player and put me in the best position to make the Olympic roster.”
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