The IX: Soccer Monday with Annie M. Peterson, November 30, 2020
2020 is the Year of Kristie Mewis, and Vlatko Andonovski confirmed it, so it's true — Woso links — Kristie Mewis speaks postgame
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2020 is the Year of Kristie Mewis
First off, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! We kept it really low-key because of coronavirus. I missed my family, but I love them way more than I love turkey and stuffing. I want them to be safe. Christmas will probably be similar, and that’s OK. Hospitals are getting overwhelmed so it’s up to all of us to flatten that curve again.
It’s been another newsy week in WoSo, although I expect that things are going to be slowing a bit now that we’re looking at December.
We got to see the rematch of the World Cup game and again the United States emerged with a 2-0 win. And again Rose Lavelle scored. Her goal was awesome, BTW.
But then, the unexpected happened, but maybe it wasn’t all that unexpected because of what she’s done this year: Kristie Mewis scored.
Sam Mewis was the first one to run up and hug her, leaving me, and a lot of people, cheering at the TV while also getting a little misty. Her last cap with the national team had been in 2014, for gosh sakes.
It had been 2,722 days between national team goals for the elder Mewis sister, a new team record.
Coach Vlatko Andonovski said what we’ve all been thinking since the Challenge Cup.
“If you look at the players that are in the United States and compete in the NWSL, 2020 is Kristie Mewis’ year. And I’m just glad that she capped it off with a nice goal,” he said.
Yep, 2020 is the year of Kristie Mewis. And, not to get overly introspective, but she’s a great example of persistence paying off. Dedication. You know, all those inspirational quotes about never giving up. Like, her picture should be in the dictionary for the word “perseverance.” She spoke after the game and it’s down below for you to read. Couldn’t be happier for her.
One of the other things that happened was the finalists for the FIFA best came out. Here’s the list:
Lucy Bronze (England / Olympique Lyonnais / Manchester City WFC)
Delphine Cascarino (France / Olympique Lyonnais)
Caroline Graham Hansen (Norway / FC Barcelona)
Pernille Harder (Denmark / VfL Wolfsburg / Chelsea FC Women)
Jennifer Hermoso (Spain / FC Barcelona)
Ji So-yun (Korea Republic / Chelsea FC Women)
Sam Kerr (Australia / Chelsea FC Women)
Saki Kumagai (Japan / Olympique Lyonnais)
Dzsenifer Marozsán (Germany / Olympique Lyonnais)
Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands / Arsenal WFC)
Wendie Renard (France / Olympique Lyonnais)
FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a voter. I will let you know how I voted when the winner is announced. (I think it should be obvious, given who I voted for last year. I’m pretty vanilla.). But I wanted to see what y’all thought so I did an informal Twitter poll.
Here are the results: Vivianne Miedema won. The votes were all over the place and she got six unequivocal top votes. Some folks gave me their top three, which was cool. She was on many of those ballots.
Pernille Harder was a really close second, Wendie Renard was third, tied with Lucy Bronze. Sam Kerr, Ji So-yun, Caroline Graham Hansen and Delphine Cascarino all also got votes.
Unsurprisingly, I got several votes for Christen Press, along with votes for Crystal Dunn, Rose Lavelle and Alexia Putellas.
In all, it was an interesting exercise for me, because I got a chance to see what people thought about international players, given there were no Americans on the list.
Oh, and because I’m a homer, I would have liked to see Christine Sinclair on the list, just as a nod to the entirety of her career and breaking the goals record. We know that sometimes these lists aren’t entirely based on who was the best in any given year, but who got the most attention. Hence Rapinoe winning last year. So yes, in this sense, it would have been cool to give Sinclair some recognition.
OK, on to the links. I really need to write about Sarah Fuller, so I’ll save that for next.
(Reminder: First, the underlined words are the links. Second. CLICK these, even if you’ve already read them. ESPECIALLY NOW, as newsrooms are forced to make difficult choices. Clicks = Attention from editors, producers and webmasters. Third, if you want to push out stuff you’ve written or read, email me! email@example.com.
Julia Poe with simply a wonderful story on Sydney Leroux for the Orlando Sentinel.
Brooks Peck wrote about the Year of Kristie Mewis for The Athletic.
Also for The Athletic, Meg Linehan’s three takeaways from the final match of 2020.
One more from The Athletic from Meg and Paul Tenorio: This interesting story on the Royals maybe moving back to Kansas City. Can we bring back the Breakers, too, while we’re at it?
Here’s the Kansas City Star’s take on it.
Caitlin Murray is back from a break, Yay! And she has a good piece for Yahoo! on Kate Markgraf and the things she’s doing.
Annie Costabile for the Chicago Sun-Times wrote about Rachel Hill’s experience in Sweden.
Sandra Herrera did a nice job on this story about Alana Cook for CBS Sports.
Jeff Kassouf’s lovely story on Kristie Mewis for The Equalizer.
Jacob Cristobal from Sounder at Heart says Wendie Renard could be headed stateside. Not getting my hopes up, but it would be so fun.
Samantha Johnson is headed to the W-League.
Seth Vertelney for Goal.com on Kristie Mewis’ moment.
I had never heard of this website, but GiveMeSport asks whether Alex Morgan can turn around Tottenham.
The New York Times with a good story on how the lockdown is impacting girls’ soccer in the U.K.
The Daily Californian with more detail on the alleged abuse in the soccer program.
AP’s game story from Breda.
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Tweet of the Week: More Charlie photos!
Five at The IX: Kristie Mewis Scores!
Kristie talked to the media post-game! Here’s what she said:
Question: Can you walk us through the moment, what it felt like to score and then to see your sister being pretty much the first one running at full speed after that goal?
Mewis: I just had to just watch it, actually, because I think I blacked out, on what actually happened. But yeah, it worked out great. I mean, Alyssa kicked a nice long ball and then we got a flick and I think it was Alex who got to touch. And I just obviously decided to run through and I was so nervous to shoot it, but I just wound up and gave it the best I could. And then turning around and just realizing what had just happened and seeing Sam and Alex running towards me was so special. It’s a very surreal moment for me. It kind of hasn’t really sunk in yet. But I mean, just super proud of the team in the way that we performed. I think we obviously have a little bit of growing to do. But I mean, it’s been a long year. So we’re definitely very happy with the win and the shutout. And we’ll go from there.
Question: I’m wondering maybe pre-blackout, just coming onto the field, getting called from the bench there. What your thought process was? Any sort of renewed nerves in terms of, you know, becoming reality at the moment?
Mewis: I felt oddly comfortable. I was definitely a little bit nervous, but I did feel comfortable. I mean, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face, I was trying to be so serious, but I couldn’t. I just saw Sam and she was smiling at me. I did feel oddly comfortable. And I think it was probably because she was on the field. Obviously I’ve been training with the other players, so I didn’t feel a sense of comfort. But it was it was great. I don’t think I got my first touch for a couple of minutes there. So I was kind of eager to get my first touch. But overall, I think it was great. And I’m obviously so proud and so happy that I was able to get another cap with this team. And we’re just moving forward now.
Question: What was Vlatko’s message to you both before the game and when he brought you out? Did he say anything inspiring that really got you motivated?
Mewis: I don’t really think he had any special words, but he definitely just has this look that he gives you. And he did warn me earlier in the week that I could potentially play. I have a lot of history with Vlatko, so I think we know each other pretty well. I think he kind of just like gave me a look and he was like, “You got this, you can do this.’ So I think that’s all I really needed. He gave me a couple of words of advice. I honestly can’t really tell you what he said because I probably wasn’t listening because I was so nervous. But, yeah, he just smiled at me and he was just like, “Go get it.’ And same with Milan. I mean, they were great.
Question: You’re in an interesting position, having been both a player on this team in the past, but also a spectator and fan of the team in watching Sam play throughout the years. Do you have an estimate of how many games you kind of went to for the US women’s national team, like in a fan capacity for Sam? And just what was that experience like for you between 2014 and now?
Mewis: I don’t think I was able to go to a lot just because of my schedule and then that schedule. But I do remember I think I probably went to two or three games and I’ve obviously watched all of them. I’ve just watched Sam play, watched the team play. I just love watching them so much. I did have a couple of years there as a spectator, and it’s always so fun to watch them play. But always in the back of my mind, I did want to get back here, and I did want to play for this team again. So it was very motivational to obviously see Sam here and to see how much success that this team has had. So it kind of just pushed me even even harder in my years away. Obviously, I need to continue now to grow and get better because I think I can still improve so much as a player, so that I am able to hopefully stay here with this team for as long as I can.
Question: Aside from inspiration, what did Vlatko tell you tactically? As we saw, the Dutch were trying to adjust a little bit to the pressure and everything. But for you, what were your instructions? What was your job to get out there and do in the midfield?
Mewis: They were definitely switching it up a lot in the midfield. So my job was to kind of sit on their six and just put her under pressure. Any time she gets the ball, try to prevent her from getting the ball. But then they obviously moved some players higher. So there was just a lot of adjusting. They were moving the ball quite well, so I think there was a couple of minutes there in the second half where we were chasing them a little bit. But I think at the end of the day, we we did a decent job as a midfield. I mean, we got a shutout and we got to goals. So we did do good enough to win. But I obviously think that there is so much room for improvement. I’m sure it was difficult for Sam and Julie, for someone like me to come in, who they haven’t played with in years and they don’t really know my tendencies anymore. I don’t really know theirs. So I do think it’s just another growing aspect. It was just so great playing with them again, because I mean, my sister and Julie, I just look up to them so much as midfielders and to play next to them was so special.