In the NWSL's first big move of the offseason, U.S. women's national team midfielder Samantha Mewis is headed from the North Carolina Courage to the Kansas City Current.
In exchange, defender Kiki Pickett is headed to the Courage, along with the Current's natural first-round pick in the 2022 NWSL college draft, which is scheduled for Dec. 18 in Los Angeles.
"I'm really excited to start this new chapter with Kansas City," Mewis said in a written statement. "I know how much the city has embraced our sport and I can't wait to meet the fans. I'm honored to be part of what this group is doing and I'm really looking forward to getting started with my new teammates. I have a lot of confidence in this team already and can't wait to get to work."
Mewis, 29, joins the Current after seven seasons with the Courage, winning NWSL Championships in 2016, 2018 and 2019.
She joined Manchester City in August 2020 before returning to the Courage this past May after one season, but played in both the 2020 and 2021 seasons for the Courage because of the different calendars between leagues.
"Sam Mewis has proven herself as one of the best soccer players in the world," Current co-owner Angie Long said in a written statement. "It's not a coincidence that everywhere she's played throughout her career, titles have followed. She's a leader on and off the field and we are thrilled to have her join the Current as a key contributor to help bring NWSL championships to Kansas City."
A native of Hanson, Mass., Mewis emerged as a go-to starter for the national team during the 2019 Women's World Cup, which the U.S. won, beating the Netherlands 2-0 in the final in Lyon, France.
Mewis was also ranked No. 1 in ESPN's top 50 players of 2020.
She was drafted by the Western New York Flash in 2015 and continued playing there when the club was moved to North Carolina and renamed the Courage in 2017.
The 2021 NWSL season ended on Nov. 20 with the Washington Spirit beating the Chicago Red Stars 2-1 in extra time.
The Kansas City Current joined the NWSL in 2021 as a relocated team from Utah and played without a name, finishing in last place in the 10-team league.
The club announced its logo and name last month.
The Utah Royals were sold to Long, a Kansas City native, and her husband, Chris Long, late last year in the fallout of allegations that owner Dell Loy Hansen had used racist language and fostered a toxic environment for women in the organization.
The Royals had relocated in 2017 from FC Kansas City, one of the founding clubs in the NWSL, after problems with the team there.