Football: USWNT stars Lavelle, Mewis to rejoin NWSL after Man City stint

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at May 18 2021 10:50 AM

Football: USWNT stars Lavelle, Mewis to rejoin NWSL after Man City stint 1
Manchester City's Rose Lavelle celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates. Molly Darlington, Action Images via Reuters

U.S. women's national team midfielders Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis are set to rejoin the National Women's Soccer League following a successful one-season stint in England.

Mewis will head back to her former club, the North Carolina Courage. Lavelle will join OL Reign of Tacoma, Wash., the club that acquired her NWSL rights from the Washington Spirit last summer.

The NWSL clubs announced the moves Monday.

Both players most recently were with Manchester City, helping that squad capture the FA Cup and finish in second place in the Women's Super League.

The moves come in advance of the USWNT's preparations for the Tokyo Olympics this summer. The U.S. squad is the reigning World Cup champion, having won the 2019 event in France.

However, the team recorded its worst-ever Olympic result in the most recent competition, failing to make the semifinals in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

Mewis, the reigning U.S. Soccer Player of the Year, said in a statement, "I am so thankful and excited to have the opportunity to return to North Carolina after my time overseas. I feel like I am coming home to a team where I know I will be both embraced and challenged.

"Everyone at the Courage has been supportive of me and my journey over the past several months and I'm extremely grateful for the experience that I've had in Manchester. I cannot wait to play in front of the Courage fans again and to do my very best to help us win."

Mewis, 28, won an NWSL title with the Western New York Flash in 2016, then helped the Courage win the league championship in 2018 and 2019.

Courage coach Paul Riley said in a statement, "Sam has been one of the juggernauts that has driven our success at the club. She has matured into one of the most inspirational and talented players in the game. To have her back in Courage Country shows the club's desire to remain at the top."

Lavelle, 26, was the Bronze Ball winner as the third-best player in the 2019 World Cup.

She said in a statement, "I just wanted to say how excited I am for this next chapter of my career with (OL Reign). I am really looking forward to getting to Tacoma and being a part of what they are building there. I think it is going to be such a fun and exciting season ahead. I can't wait to be a part of it with OL Reign."

OL Reign coach Farid Benstiti said in a statement, "We are incredibly excited for Rose to be joining our team. She is a special player that has the ability to change games. She is an ambitious player and very effective in the midfield. Her experiences in the NWSL and WSL, as well as with the national team have made her a very aware and intelligent player. We are looking forward to adding her to our team."