'It's a surreal moment' - Mewis 'blacked out' after scoring on first USWNT cap in six years

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Kristie Mewis said that scoring after coming on for her first cap in six years was a “surreal moment” as the U.S. women’s national team defeated the Netherlands 2-0 in a friendly on Friday.

Mewis came off the bench in the 61st minute for her first cap since March 2014, as the midfielder continues her return to form after a serious knee injury in 2018.

Just nine minutes after she entered the field, Mewis got on the end of a Lynn Williams layoff and surged in behind the Dutch defense, finishing low past goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal to give the USWNT a two-goal advantage.

Mewis has gone exactly 2,722 days between scoring goals for the USWNT – the longest such span for any player in program history.

The 29-year-old could hardly believe how well her cameo went on Friday, particularly given she had the chance to play alongside her sister Sam in the midfield. 

“I just had to rewatch it actually because I think I blacked out on what actually happened!” Mewis said with a laugh after the game.

“I was so nervous to shoot it, but I just wound up and gave it the best I could,” Mewis added. “Turning around and just realizing what had just happened and seeing Sam and Alex [Morgan] running towards me was so special. It’s a very surreal moment for me, it hasn't really sunk in yet.”

Though she wouldn’t have been faulted for showing some nerves, Mewis said she felt a sense of calm on the pitch, which was undoubtedly aided by her sister’s presence. 

“I felt oddly comfortable,” Mewis 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. 

“I just saw Sam and she was smiling at me, 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.”

U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski – who noted after the game that Mewis was his first ever NWSL draft pick in 2013 when he was in charge of FC Kansas City – said that he was proud to see Mewis show she belonged back with the USWNT. 

“[I’m] very happy for her to see her going through some adversity and coming back to this team and taking full advantage of the opportunity,” Andonovski said. “She was very good in camp, trained very well and deserved to be on the field today. The fact she did as good as she did makes me very happy and proud of her.”

Andonovski admitted that he has seen a change in Mewis in recent years, with the midfielder redoubling her commitment to being the best player she can be.

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“One thing I know about Kristie Mewis is in the last two years, starting at the end of 2019 and into 2020, we see a little bit of a different player,” Andonovski said.  

“First of all off the field, a little more committed, a little better pro. But then on the field, with her play, with her performance, she showed that she deserved to be around this group of players.

"If you look at the players that are in the United States who have competed in the NWSL, 2020 is Kristie Mewis’ year and I’m just glad that she capped it off with a nice goal.”