Two and a half years ago, an image of Sam Kerr snuggling up to Kristie Mewis, taken after the USWNT beat Australia in the Olympic bronze-medal match, sent women’s soccer fans into a frenzy.
At the time, the players’ relationship was heavily rumored — but within three days, they confirmed they are together, via an Instagram post from Kerr.
Now engaged to be married, they are poised to face off in a competitive game for the first time as fiancées after Mewis’s transfer to West Ham, London rivals of Kerr’s Chelsea in the Women’s Super League, was confirmed on Friday.
The Athletic’s Meg Linehan and Charlotte Harpur first broke the news of the deal on Wednesday, in anticipation of the official announcement that Mewis would move from NJ/NY Gotham in January.
Mewis told the club’s website: “I have always wanted to play in the Women’s Super League and now that everything has fallen into place, it feels like a dream come true.”
West Ham certainly need a boost — they sit joint bottom of the 12-team WSL table after 10 games played. Chelsea, the reigning champions, are top.
Intriguingly, the two clubs have been drawn to face each other in the fourth round of the FA Women’s Cup on January 14. Providing the American is cleared to play in that time, Kingsmeadow could witness the first on-field Kerr vs. Mewis showdown in competitive football since their relationship ‘officially’ began.
The American was an unused substitute in that third/fourth place playoff in Tokyo in August 2021; the two players had briefly occupied the same pitch prior to that, when the teams drew 0-0 in the group stage.
If Kerr and Mewis are not on opposing sides next month, there is another opportunity later in the season. Their clubs meet again in the WSL on March 24 when West Ham will be the hosts in Dagenham, east of London.
They did face each other in the second of two international friendlies between the Matildas and the USWNT in November 2021. After Kerr had scored twice in the first game in Sydney but was subbed off before Mewis came on, the second meeting was held in Newcastle.
Kerr played the full match and Mewis was brought on for the last 20 minutes. The final score was 1-1 after Kerr set up Kyah Simon for an 88th-minute equalizer.
At club level, you have to go back to September 2019 for the most recent Kerr vs. Mewis contest.
They both started the NWSL clash between Chicago Red Stars and Houston Dash at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview. Kerr scored twice as the hosts won 3-0; it was around the time that Mewis split with then Dash teammate, Rachel Daly (whose current club Aston Villa play West Ham on April 28, by the way).
The topic of playing against Mewis came up in Kerr’s recent feature interview with Esquire Australia.
Asked about that game at the Olympics — their canoodling sparked a “hilarious” meme known as ‘they’re lesbians, Stacey’, which is now canon in women’s soccer — the Australian commented on an evening of mixed emotions.
“That one really sucked because it was such a shit time for me, and such an amazing time for Kristie,” Kerr told Esquire. “It’s so hard to want someone to lose when you love them so much.”
The article also mentioned that at the time of the interview, Kerr and Mewis were discussing potential apartments where they might live together.
Following her NWSL title-winning success with Gotham FC last month, Mewis was known to have been staying in London in recent weeks.
While all this has been going on, viewers of the new Netflix documentary “Under Pressure” have been watching footage of the couple filmed earlier in the year, including of Kerr at a Mewis family lunch in Massachusetts.
At one point, they agree they are done with a “long-distance” relationship and that one or the other will have to move clubs. That moment has arrived.