United States midfielder and 2019 World Cup winner Sam Mewis says joining Manchester City “is like winning the lottery”.
Mewis has played 67 times for her country and featured regularly during last year’s World Cup, starting the 2-0 final win over the Netherlands in Lyon.
The 27-year-old has joined the former Women’s Super League champions from North Carolina Courage.
“I feel so lucky to have the opportunity,” Mewis told BBC Sport.
“A couple of months ago my agent came to me with it and my eyes just kind of opened wide because obviously Manchester City is such a great club and is so well known.
“We [North Carolina Courage] played them last year in the ICC [International Champions Cup] tournament and I just remember thinking how good they were and how every player was so comfortable on the ball.
“I thought it would be cool to play overseas one day and for a club like Manchester City. I feel really lucky and really fortunate to have this opportunity.”
The midfielder is City’s second summer signing after England striker Chloe Kelly joined from Everton.
They narrowly missed out on their second WSL title last season – they were top of the table when the campaign was suspended in March because of the coronavirus pandemic, but dropped to second spot when final positions were decided on a points-per-game basis.
Under new boss Gareth Taylor, they will start the 2020-21 season with an away game at newly-promoted Aston Villa during the weekend of 5-6 September.
‘I will have to earn my stripes’
Mewis follows in the footsteps of her USA team-mate Carli Lloyd, who had a short spell with Manchester City in 2017.
And the midfielder says playing overseas is something more are considering to “add depth to their game” or to “have experience of playing in a country where the culture of football is so deep, top to bottom”.
“I feel like the WSL is such a great place to try to play,” added Mewis. “Carli Lloyd has just raved about her experiences here – the facilities, the girls and the team. So obviously it’s a huge opportunity for me and that makes it so exciting.
“As players go on in their career and look to move abroad, this is definitely a great option.”
Mewis says she is “excited and honoured” to play alongside and learn from many “world-class players” in the Manchester City squad but admits she will have her “work cut out” to make the team.
“The midfield is so good and so talented so I will have to earn my stripes here. Keira Walsh is one I have a lot of respect for – all the Lionesses, I know, are so good and so talented,” she added.
“If she’s [Walsh] anything like Julie Ertz, it will be great to be on her team rather than playing against her. I will be able to learn a lot from these girls.”
‘A significant transfer for the WSL’ – Analysis
This is a significant transfer for the WSL as Mewis not only brings with her experience and a winning mentality, but offers something a little unique with her playing style.
At North Carolina Courage, she was part of a box midfield, sitting in front of the back four. You can see how she might fit in at City, with England international Keira Walsh providing protection, allowing Mewis to play with creativity and freedom between the two boxes.
At 6ft, she is unusually tall for a midfielder but it gives her presence on set-pieces and she has a long, athletic stride which will be effective in the WSL. She can also score goals from long range.
There is no doubting Mewis’ pedigree either – she is a World Cup winner and the general feeling is that there is still more to come from her.
Her USA team-mate Rose Lavelle is still heavily linked with a move to City as well and, alongside Walsh, Caroline Weir and Jill Scott, that would be a formidable midfield.