Ep. 16: Olympic Soccer with Julie Ertz and the Mewis Sisters

July 07, 2021

With four World Cup titles under their belt, the USWNT heads to the Tokyo Olympics, to play in the Olympiad’s tournament of 12 teams.

It’s a fair guess that the U.S. Women have a golf medal in their sights. And the USA’s strength is in their players and their team hive mind.

Central midfielder Julie Ertz talks about the team’s preparation and cohesion, while fellow midfielders Samantha and Kristie Mewis shed some light on the style and mindset of the team, as well as what makes for their brand of soccer.

Julie Ertz, midfield general

Julie Ertz was first called up to the U.S. National Team in January 2013, and later went on to play in the 2015 and 2019 World Cups. As an international, Ertz has scored 20 goals in just over a hundred appearances for the USA.

“It’s a short tournament. So, you go one game at a time,” Ertz said of the 12-team Olympic setup. She adds that there is not one main competitor at Tokyo 2021 that the U.S. has in mind as the key rival.

“Every team you face is one that (makes you) go out to win the game.”

When asked about the famous 1999 USA team—which featured Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy and other USA legends—Ertz, 29, hints that she was very young, perhaps too young then to enjoy the soccer fever.

“My mom used to take me to local games, and collegiate games in Arizona,” Ertz said of her formative soccer years. “I loved watching, and since I was always outside, I played. I just fell in love with the sport.”

In additional to talking about the different aspects of USWNT’s success, Ertz also describes what it’s like to play on the team, how difficult and competitive the culture is, and what it’s like to play with other stars such as 2019 Golden Ball and Golden Boot winner Megan Rapinoe.

Team Mew-S-A

During the 2019 World Cup, Samantha Mewis became one of the breakout stars of the tournament, and since that successful campaign she has scored important goals in recent matches versus Colombia, Portugal and Mexico.

And after a seven-year hiatus from USWNT play, Kristie Mewis, the older of the two sisters, rejoined the roster last fall. Soon, both players would make the 2021 Olympic roster.

In this episode, the Mewis sisters talk about how special it is to be an Olympian, while also talking up USA super striker Alex Morgan and the team’s impenetrable back line of defenders.

Off the pitch, Sam and Kristie have put out a special edition beer brewed in collaboration with Boston, MA-based Harpoon Brewery, cleverly called Mew-S-A Citrus IPA. A portion of proceeds from every Mew-S-A four-pack sold will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Dorchester (Mass.), a charity of the Mewis sisters’ choice. And they sisters discuss their family’s love for her and how it all came about.

Listen to all three USWNT stars talk Olympics and more, in Episode 16.

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