The Matildas’ journey to the semi-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup has had all of Australia watching – and talking.
Their performances have captured the hearts of Australians who may not even have been interested in “the beautiful game” a month ago.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Sam Kerr’s post-match interview after FIFA Women’s World Cup semi-final.
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The skyrocketing levels of interest in women’s football – and the Matildas in particular – means the spotlight is being shone on the team’s players like never before.
With fame comes scrutiny and an interest in the player’s personal lives as well as their sporting prowess.
As the Matildas’ captain and best-known player, that especially applies to 29-year-old Sam Kerr, already considered an Aussie sporting legend.
But what do we know about her partner, 32-year-old American footballer Kristie Mewis, who plays for Gotham FC and the United States national team?
Much was made of the fact that, in the Australia vs England semi-final on Wednesday night – which England won 3-1 – Kerr would be playing against Mewis’ ex, Lioness star Rachel Daly.
Mewis and Daly dated for two years from 2017 to 2019.
Mewis then met Kerr, and during the COVID lockdowns of 2020 they began chatting online before spending two weeks in quarantine together.
“We had to spend two weeks together. I was thinking, ‘If I don’t like her this is going to be awkward’,” Kerr told Gaffer Magazine earlier this year.
They were first photographed together in 2021 during the Tokyo Olympics, when America defeated Australia in the women’s football semi-finals.
Less than a week later, the couple went “Insta official” when Kerr posted a photo of them kissing.
Since then, they’ve become an iconic “power couple” for the LGBTQI+ community.
“We’re not private people,” Kerr told Gaffer.
“I like sharing my story. I like sharing who I am outside of football.”
Despite the “tough” demands of their sporting careers, the couple made time to have dinner together, FaceTime when they were apart, and sit down to watch TV shows together, Kerr said.
“I think the thing that keeps us going is that we can see an end point (to professional playing),” she explained.
“We both just want each other to do so well in our careers.
“I don’t think you could be in a long-distance relationship with someone who didn’t get the sport.”
Mewis told the publication she hoped that being an “out and proud” couple would help others to feel proud and comfortable in their sexuality.
“I think just being out and being two girls in love, I think if we can change one or two people’s lives, and the way that they feel about each other and how comfortable they feel, then that means a lot to me,” she said.
“I love to share my relationship on social media.”
On Instagram, where Mewis has more than 440,000 followers, she frequently shares posts featuring Kerr.
One photo shares the couple kissing, with the picture simply captioned: “My love.”
“Every second I get with you ❤️,” another photo of the couple together is captioned.
Mewis is also not afraid to show off her incredibly athletic physique, regularly sharing outfit and bikini selfies on social media.
The Massachusetts-raised athlete fell in love with football at an early age.
After three years playing for Boston College, she came to Australia in 2013 to play for Canberra United FC, then moved on to stints in Germany and Japan before returning to play in the US.
Mewis is set to feature in a new Netflix documentary, which will follow the US Women’s National Soccer Team as they competed in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
It’s expected to premiere later this year.
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