Manchester City Women are already showing they are the team to beat in the Women’s Super League ahead of the 2020/21 season which kicks off next month, hammering Everton 4-1 in a pre-season friendly that saw the introduction of summer signing Sam Mewis.
Chelsea were awarded the 2019/20 title on points per game when the season was abandoned amid the difficulties of restarting during the worst of the coronavirus crisis and have strengthened themselves as they look to retain the trophy next season.
Melanie Leupolz, Niamh Charles and Jessie Fleming are smart additions to a Blues squad already brimming with quality. But City’s squad was also already filled with excellent players and they have now gone on to trump their title rivals’ business in the transfer market.
Even before Mewis, a World Cup winner with the USWNT last summer, arrived in Manchester, City had agreed a deal to sign emerging England forward Chloe Kelly. There have been rumours that Lucy Bronze will return to the club from Lyon with England colleague Alex Greenwood in tow, while Mewis’ international teammate Rose Lavelle officially became a City player last week.
Mewis has become a key player for the United States over the last five years and has also enjoyed much domestic NWSL success with North Carolina Courage. The 27-year-old combines technical assuredness with the physical dominance typically associated with American players and her debut as a half-time substitute in a friendly with Everton saw City pull away after a tight first half.
Leading 1-0, Mewis soon brought about City’s second goal when she won the ball back with a high press on the edge of Everton’s penalty area and was immediately tripped, with Steph Houghton stepping up and flashing the subsequent set-piece into the bottom corner.
It was then 3-0 when Mewis clipped in a cross with her weaker left foot for Lauren Hemp to nod in, showcasing both her vision to see the space and the run, as well as the ability to make it happen.
After Everton pulled one back from a mistake from Houghton, Mewis then got a goal herself, making use of her height to head in after Houghton nodded a deep cross back across the six-yard box.
It was a third pre-season game for City ahead of the 2020/21 WSL kick-off on 6 September. Despite it being their first against top flight opposition – having beaten Coventry United and Sheffield United 5-0 and 6-0 respectively – it was another impressive demolition.
With Lavelle soon to come in and potentially also the additions of Bronze and Greenwood, City are only going to get stronger as the weeks progress. Mewis has already shown that a USWNT starter is a step above when it comes to quality and impact, making the prospect of both in the same midfield truly frightening for the rest of the league.