Netherlands-USA: Kristie Mewis embodies remarkable USWNT performance with 'surreal' goal in return after six years away

The USA's 2-0 victory over the Netherlands ranks as one of the best collective and individual performances in the long and glorious history of the women's program.

No, it wasn't a World Cup or Olympic game. It was simply a friendly game played on a cold Friday night without fans.

But the USA had not played a game in 261 days -- its longest layoff in 30 years -- and three starters -- Kelley O’Hara, Crystal Dunn and Julie Ertz -- had not played a game since the NWSL Challenge Cup, which ended in July.

Four other starters -- Alyssa Naeher, Becky Sauerbrunn, Abby Dahlkemper and Lynn Williams -- had not played since the NWSL Fall Series, which ended six weeks ago. The other four starters -- Rose Lavelle, Sam Mewis, Christen Press and Tobin Heath -- are playing in England.

The Americans dominated the Dutch, the reigning European champions and runners-up at the 2019 World Cup. Rose Lavelle and Kristie Mewis scored for the USA, which should have won by at least two or three more goals.

The USA finished the year with the following streaks:

-- It's perfect in 2020 with a 9-0-0 record.
-- It's 11-0-0 since Vlatko Andonovski took charge, setting a record for best start for a U.S. head coach.
-- It's unbeaten its last 32 games, a streak that will reach two years in January.

“A lot of things changed in 2020," said Andonovski. "But one thing that didn’t change and one thing that will never change with this team is the heart and the mind. And I was so proud of these players, the way they stepped up and handled the game, considering that some of them didn’t have a chance to train properly before this camp.”

The highlight of the game was Kristie Mewis' goal in the second half. She was making her first appearance for the USA since March 10, 2014, when she took the field with Sam, her younger sister, in the 61st minute. Ten minutes later, she iced the victory when she split two defenders and scored after Williams touched on a long ball played by Naeher that skimmed off the head of a Dutch defender.

The goal was was her second international goal and came 2,722 days -- more than seven tears -- after her first on June 15, 2013, the longest span between goals in U.S. women's history.

"I just had to re-watch it actually," Mewis said of the goal, "because I think I blacked out on what actually happened. I was so nervous to shoot it, but I just wound up and gave it the best I could."

She turned around and saw her sister and Alex Morgan, a second-half sub, running toward her.

"It’s a very surreal moment for me," she added. "It hasn't really sunk in yet.”

Mewis played on five different NWSL teams in the league's first five seasons -- including two trades in nine days in 2017 -- and then missed almost a full year when she tore her ACL in May 2018. But she played well enough in 2019 that she was called in for the national team's ID camp organized for Andonovski to get a look at players after he took the job. He was Mewis' coach at FC Kansas City in 2013 when she entered the NWSL and she earned the first of her 15 caps for the USA.

Andonovski said he was happy for Mewis, considering the adversity she overcame to make her way back into the team.

“She was very good in camp, trained very well and deserved to be on the field today," he said. "The fact she did as good as she did makes me very happy and proud of her.”

Mewis certainly deserved her chance, considering she helped Houston win the Challenge Cup, then dished out five assists for the Dash in two games during the Fall Series

“I felt oddly comfortable,” she said. “I was definitely a little bit nervous but I did feel comfortable. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face, like I was trying to be so serious but I couldn't."

The game marked the third time the Mewis sisters had been on the field at the same time.

“I just saw Sam and she was smiling at me," Kristie said, "and I did feel oddly comfortable and I think it was probably because she was on the field and obviously I've been training with the other players so I did feel a sense of comfort.”

13 comments about "Netherlands-USA: Kristie Mewis embodies remarkable USWNT performance with 'surreal' goal in return after six years away".
  1. Tom Mara, November 28, 2020 at 8:42 a.m.

    I did not see the begining of the game, thus did not see 9 players taking a knee during the Anthem. Exactly what are they protesting? What will they do after Biden becomes president - sit on their asses? Frankly, although I enjoyed the game and have always supported the USWNT, unless US Soccer rules they all MUST stand, I will not likely watch another match.

  2. beautiful game replied, November 28, 2020 at 9:07 a.m.

    It's your choice amigo. 

  3. Mylene Moreno, November 28, 2020 at 9:38 a.m.

    It is also their choice and I am proud of them.

  4. E Velazquez, November 28, 2020 at 10:53 a.m.

    They are players to  entertain to everyone with no distintion. If you protest , many  fans won't like this demostration and the result  is a division. Why can players be  simply members of a team that it is beloved by its fans ? , why politics  and not plainly a beautiful sport ?

  5. Seth Vieux, November 28, 2020 at 11:15 a.m.

    As a recently retired military officer with multiple deployments I certainly do not like the kneeling, they are free to do so, but they'll never change my perspective that it shows their how little they appreciate the amazing opportunities this country provides us. But other than acknowledging both the previous conversation, their perspectives and my own, I'd prefer to focus on the incredible story of Kristie Mewis coming back into the squad, against the next best team in the world, scoring a goal, and how awesome it is that Sam Mewis was first to get to her to celebrate. Just awesome. And Ohio girl Rose Lavell continuing her march towards being the best player in the world :-)

  6. Bob Ashpole replied, December 1, 2020 at 11:31 p.m.


  7. R2 Dad, November 28, 2020 at 12:55 p.m.

    Great story, glad she's back in the mix. Hope she stays healthy and provides competition for time at that left mid slot. Welcome back, KM!

  8. Aris Protopapadakis, November 28, 2020 at 5:46 p.m.

    This kneeling, which by the way is taking place in English and Spanish soccer and maybe other leagues, is NOT a political statement, unless killing black people, disenfranchising them and treating them like 2nd class citizens is a political issue. I am NOT Black but I am an immigrant. And yes, this country provides incredible opportunities to many but also misery to some. The stain of slavery and racial discrimination is very far from expunged.
    We will be a much better country, maybe a great country if we can accomplish that.
    And yes, I would take a knee if I was on the field...

  9. Chris Beck replied, November 29, 2020 at 9:31 a.m.

    Aris. Why don't they kneel for the innocent and helpless African Americans killed within their own crime infested communities by their neighbors?   This is a far worse problem than the few and far between white supremacy's and white racists that are killing innocent African Americans.  Pay attention to the real facts not the ones you hear on biased TV. 

  10. James Madison, November 28, 2020 at 6:31 p.m.

    What can be divisive about supporting racial and gender equality?

  11. Billy Logan, November 29, 2020 at 12:53 a.m.

    " ... 2,722 days, more than seven tears ... " that's an eloquent typo right there, is it not, my fellow soccer fans?

    The ACL and everything - you go, Kristie Mewis!

  12. Chris Beck, November 29, 2020 at 9:24 a.m.

    It is disappointing.  Play soccer not politics. My wife checked out after seeing those players kneel.   You don't see this from the other nations which are nowhere near as great, honest and free as ours. 

    Ungrateful, spoiled and arrogant. 

  13. Bob Ashpole replied, December 1, 2020 at 11:35 p.m.

    You are not paying attention. Kneeling is widespread in Europe and the US. Of course they don't knee during the Star Spangled Banner overseas because it is not played at the foreign matches.

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