USWNT's Tower of Power Sam Mewis retires early with lingering knee injury

After years of unsuccessful surgeries and rehab, Sam Mewis has been forced to prematurely hang up her boots.
USWNT's Sam Mewis waves to crowd after game against Mexico
USWNT's Sam Mewis waves to crowd after game against Mexico / Brad Smith/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Following the 2019 World Cup victory, Sam Mewis' illustrious professional career was just getting started. Next came her third NWSL title, followed by the 2020 USWNT Player of the Year award, a 2021 Olympic bronze medal, and what's that?...a multi-year absence from the sport and a retirement announcement at age 31? DJ, cue the song "One of These Things (Is Not Like The Others)".

In 2021, the six-foot Tower of Power was seemingly in her prime, commanding the midfield with an imposing physical presence (hence the nickname) and a soccer-savvy brain.

Sam Mewis had so much left to give

A January 2021 USWNT victory over Colombia saw Sam Mewis and older sister Kristie Mewis scoring all four USWNT goals. As Kristie made her remarkable national team comeback and Sam continued her impressive domination at the top level, everything seemed primed for years of Mewis sister stardom.

Instead, Sam Mewis found herself on the operating table addressing a lingering knee issue, followed by a subsequent knee surgery in 2023.

This long, arduous road began with an initial injury sustained in November of 2017 that needed six months of recovery. Mewis spent the next handful of years playing through pain. The last match of her career (though she didn't know it at the time) was played in March of 2022.

After so many consecutive months spent out of the game, her retirement notice is not particularly shocking, but every player dreams of exiting the game only when they're both physically and mentally ready to step away.

Sam was not afforded that luxury. Her body said no, but her heart and mind still had years left to give and she so desperately wanted her body to cooperate.

In the end retirement was both an impossible decision and her only option.

Fortunately, Sam Mewis' impact on the soccer world doesn't end here as she'll now be lending her talents to the Men in Blazers media network as Editor in Chief of 'The Women's Game' verticle.

Naomi Girma wins USWNT Player of the Year. Naomi Girma wins USWNT Player of the Year. dark. Next

As many networks are beginning to realize, there's a hungry global audience craving better access to women's soccer from games to athlete's stories and everything in between. And who better to lift Men in Blazers into this next era than the personable, indefatigable pursuer of equal pay, formidable Tower of Power, Sam Mewis.