Sam and Kristie Mewis: 10 fun facts about USWNT's history-making sister act
Kristie and Sam, Sam and Kristie, life is not a competition but they're winning.
Kristie opened the scoring with a scything run through midfield and a sweet strike, then Sam pulled out a hat-trick in the Mewis show in Florida, the sisters laying down a marker early in an Olympic year.
In November 2020 they played together against Netherlands, Kirstie scoring again in a 2-0 victory, it was the first time in over five years that they were on the pitch together in a USA jersey, Kristie playing her way back into the team after seven years.
But the two Mewises are never really far apart, despite Sam playing in England with Manchester City and Kristie in Texas with the Houston Dash, they call each other almost every day.
"We have so much in common," Sam says on their recent interview together on the USWNT YouTube channel called 'The Mewis Sisters Quiz: Refreshed and ReMewed'.
"We love lounging watching Gossip Girl, we love coffee, we love so many of the same things," Sam continues, saying that they're thriving in the current climate of train, lie down at home away from the coronavirus and FaceTime your sister.
"We're like relaxation specialists," agrees Kristie.
Read on to find out more about the sibling rivalry that made them better players, the way they know each other's Dunkin' Donuts orders, how they share the pitch for the USA and plenty of lols.
Needless to say that they are hoping to represent Team USA at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics together.
1. Soccer siblings, football family
Kristie and Sam were born just 20 months apart in Weymouth Massachusetts to a family in love with the beautiful game.
Both mom and dad used to play and set the foundations for Sam and Kirstie's game, the two sisters playing together - and against each other - for endless hours in the back yard.
That was a death sentence for the ground growth.
“They played so much, we still can’t seem to get the grass to grow,” their mother, Melissa, told Sports Illustrated in 2010.
Both admit that family was and is key to becoming the players they are today.
"My dad used to drive us 13 hours on a weekend for a club tournament," Sam told USWNT back in 2014.
"Their commitment was the sole reason that Kristie and I have both made it so far. I can’t imagine what it would have been like without them. Our soccer success is solely because of our parents’ commitment.
"They have always supported so much and loved us and wanted the best for us. I think my family unit being so in love with soccer has been the biggest component of me being where I am today."
2. The Mewis sisters' Mia Hamm fan club
Hall of famer Mia Hamm is one of the best to ever do it, in a glittering career she won Olympic gold at Atlanta 1996, silver at Sydney 2000 and gold again at Athens 2004, also winning the World Cup twice.
Hamm is an icon of the game and the young Mewis sisters sat in awe watching her.
When Kristie was eight and Sam six they watched Hamm lead the U.S. to World Cup glory at home in 1999.
“That was our dream,” Sam remembers. “We used to wear Mia Hamm jerseys around the house.”
3. History makers
Their journey to the national team began at youth level, Kristie made it national at underage level first and it helped Sam believe that she could do it too.
“It made that dream seem less out of reach. She paved the way in a sense and made me believe that I could do it too,” she told The Athletic.
There was always a dynamic of sibling rivalry, being competitive and pushing each other while at the same time admiring and inspiring each other, Kirstie was older and stronger and Sam said she “sparked a competitiveness in me by beating me in everything.”
Whatever it was between them, it worked, both were called up to the Under-17 youth team and made history by becoming the first sisters to play together on a U.S. World Cup team at the New Zealand 2008 Women's U17 World Cup.
The team made the final but lost out to North Korea by a single goal, two years later the Mewises were together again at the U-20 World Cup in Germany, losing on penalties to Nigeria in the quarter finals.
4. Kristie cried when Sam won the World Cup
After a bright start the fire went out on Kristie's senior USWNT career, she made her debut against Scotland in February 2013 and scored her first goal against South Korea in June that same year.
But with only one goal in 15 caps between 2013-14 Kristie's international career stalled.
Sam didn't have it easy either, she didn't make the team when the U.S. won the 2015 World Cup and was chosen as an alternate for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.
2019 was a different story though, league success with the New York Flash and the North Carolina Courage brought her back into the national side and Sam was an important part of the UWNT World Cup win at France 2019.
"I wasn't sobbing but I was teary eyed," says Kristie. "Kristie's the emotional one," says Sam in that USWNT video, "just kidding."
"So I was teary eyed when she won the World Cup but when I saw her sobbing it turned into a laugh," clarifies Kristie. "She was just sobbing, her whole face was covered, and while it was appropriate, it was also a little inappropriate."
Kristie even texted: 'Sam, pull it together.'
But there's no doubt that Kristie was proud of her sister. "It was great though, we saw all the emotions on your face, it was pretty special."
5. Kristie determined to win next to Sam
Sam's World Cup win also lit a fire for Kristie.
“I was so, so happy for her, but I obviously wanted to be next to her doing it,” Kristie said afterwards.
“… But I was able to separate it. A little bit of her success, I felt it also a little bit, just because she’s my sister, she’s my blood, we did everything together growing up. … And it also pushed me even harder to try and play with her again.”
In 2018 Kristie tore her ACL and had to do some soul searching.
Just four NWSL goals in the previous two seasons after scoring six in 2015 wasn't exactly national team form, and she was finishing near the bottom of the league with her teams.
“I was OK with being average for a couple years,” she said in 2020.
“I had to look within myself and decide where I was going to go with my career. Am I going to continue being average, or am I going to try and push for my dreams?”
6. Kristie's record-breaking return
The older of the Mewies (Self-ordained plural) decided to work harder than ever and 2020/2021 have reaped rewards.
First she helped the Houston Dash win the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup, an eight-team tournament held at one stadium in Utah which marked the return to action after the great pause of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The title “honestly meant everything to me,” she said. “I obviously haven’t had that much success in the league on the teams I’ve been on. Just to win something and to be in first place … was the best feeling in the world.”
That was followed by two USWNT camp call-ups in October and November - a return to the national team after a seven year hiatus.
Coach Vlatko Andonovski was impressed:
“The 2020 version of Kristie Mewis is almost like a different person, different player. She’s more mature, understands the game, she’s more into it, definitely more intense. Her approach to the game, mentally, is totally different.”
"I'm not shy to say soccer is a huge part of just who I am as a person -- it is everything to me," Kristie said.
"It is my job, it is my passion, it is literally my entire life. I'm not ashamed to say that, I just love it so much. So when your goal and your dream of being on the national team is taken away from you, it obviously does affect you personally as well.
"I think I did lose a sense of who I was off the field as well -- and on the field. And it took me a long time to get it back."
She scored a goal against 2019 World Cup finalists Netherlands - the US team's first match in over seven months.
It was her second USWNT career goal, her first since 2013, setting a team record for the longest time between goals of 2,722 days in a player’s career.
7. Sam finally admits she likes Taylor Swift
Alex Morgan was delighted to talk about Taylor Swift in a recent interview saying how happy she was that the singer was re-recording 'Fearless'.
But in a USWNT video back in 2010 called 'Sisters 4 life quiz' Kristie was asked what music Sam liked and said Taylor Swift to which Sam gave her sister a look and said "I don't like Taylor Swift."
Ten years later Sam had a chance to revisit that opinion in another episode of 'The Mewis Sisters Quiz'.
"I was just so young and embarrassed by it, but I have always loved Taylor Swift, so just to set the record straight.," Sam said.
"What's so bad about Taylor Swift?" Asks Kristie.
"Nothing, I was just... When I was that age I thought it was embarrassing, (Shrugs) don't know... We all love Taylor Swift!"
That's cleared that up then.
6. Sam Mewis' nickname: 'The Tower of Power'
Standing 183cm tall or six foot, the call Sam the 'Tower of Power' and she likes it.
“Sam is the tower of power. She doesn't get that nickname for nothing,” Megan Rapinoe said after Mewis' crucial performance against Mexico in the Olympic qualifiers in February 2020, scoring two in a 4-0 victory.
That win guaranteed the U.S. a spot at the rescheduled Tokyo Games this summer.
“She's just powerful in the way she plays, the way she eats up space. She can cover a ton of ground, she has a knack for the goal as well,” added Rapinoe.
So how does she feel about the nickname?
"She loves it," says Kristie, "it fires her up for sure and I think it's just the perfect nickname for her."
"She is such a tower of power though, like look at her, just look at her sitting there."
9. Sam is proud of Kristie
Kristie's comeback has made Sam proud and she's enjoying every minute of it.
In 2020 lil sis said, “for her to get called in here just brings me so much joy,” during the November camp.
“Already today at practice, we were working together a little bit and it’s just so fun to have her here.”
Sam says it's been “really rewarding” to watch Kristie go from career-threatening knee injury to better player.
“I think it’s just demonstrated how hard she worked, how much she wants this and how good of a character that she really has.”
This is a two-woman support system.
“Being a professional soccer player can be difficult and challenging at times, and … for a lot of people who have never done this, it is kind of hard to understand all the ups and downs,” Sam told the media in November.
“And to have someone in my family that gets it and that we kind of go through the ebbs and flows of this career together … is just really special and it’s brought us closer.”
10. They know each other's Dunkin' Donuts order
One word to describe Kristie's fashion style?
"Glam," says Sam. "It is not glam," counters Kristie, "it's like 'trash glam,' 'subtle trash'."
One thing they can agree on is their coffee orders in Dunkin' Donuts.
"A 'laage' hot French vanilla with whole milk, has to be laage" recites Kristie with the emphasis on the Boston accent, nailing Sam's order.
"Do I know her order?" Asks Sam rhetorically, "a medium, iced, dark-roast with almond milk."
Two for two.
And if that isn't sisterly love...