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Kristie Mewis could be key to Houston’s future success

Kristie Mewis may be the catalyst the Houston Dash need going forward

Mewis playing against the Houston Dash earlier this season.
Trask Smith

After being acquired by the Houston Dash in exchange for Morgan Brian on Wednesday, Kristie Mewis is on the move for the second time in less than two weeks. Aside from a midweek training session, the left-footed strike she scored against her former club the Washington Spirit highlighted Mewis’ brief time with the Chicago Red Stars.

Houston's playoff chances are slim, the club sits nine points back of the fourth and final playoff spot held by the Orlando Pride. With only five games left, Mewis likely won’t change Houston's immediate playoff odds.

Dash supporters should be excited at the prospect of a full season of Mewis situated beneath Carli Lloyd and alongside Andressa and Janine Beckie in the midfield of Omar Morales' 4-4-2 diamond formation. The 26-year-old Mewis is a tactical improvement over starting Caity Heap, Amber Brooks, or Cari Roccaro in the midfield.

If the Dash return to a 4-3-3 formation under a new manager in 2018, Mewis will likely play on the wing opposite of Janine Beckie with Andressa in the center and Houston’s front trio will feature Rachel Daly, Carli Lloyd, and Kealia Ohai.

It's fair to say that injuries have prevented Morgan Brian from reaching her world-class potential with the Dash and the U.S. women's national team. Where Brian has infrequently played as a traditional holding midfielder for Houston, Brazilian international Andressa has emerged as a more consistent option in the same role, leaving the Dash with two players with redundant skill sets in their starting eleven.

Brian stats below display the story of an individual who hasn’t contributed as much Houston’s front office would’ve hoped.

Morgan Brian Career Stats

Season Team GP GS MP G A S SOG FC FS CK OFF YC RC
Season Team GP GS MP G A S SOG FC FS CK OFF YC RC
2015 HOU 10 10 810 0 3 7 5 8 5 4 0 0 0
2016 HOU 13 13 1005 0 0 7 4 5 11 16 3 0 0
2017 HOU 10 9 662 0 0 1 1 6 2 1 1 0 0

Houston moved the former No. 1 pick Brian to Chicago for the more consistent threat and level of depth Mewis adds to their midfield. Mewis is primarily a winger but can play as a forward and both as a defensive or attacking midfielder. Her speed on the ball can assist Houston's counter-attacking efforts, a key component to the club’s ability to score goals.

The Hanson, Mass., native had a few good seasons with the Boston Breakers, a primarily rebuilding side that finished at the bottom of the table in 2015 and 2016, and had the second-worst record in 2014. She’s failed to earn a USWNT call-up since 2013 when the international side was managed by Tom Sermanni. In 2015 and by far her best statistical season, Mewis finished tied for eighth with six goals and launched an outstanding 81 shots, only three behind Crystal Dunn’s league-leading mark, the subsequent league MVP and Golden Boot winner that season.

Kristie Mewis Career Stats

Season Team GP GS MP G A S SOG FC FS CK OFF YC RC
Season Team GP GS MP G A S SOG FC FS CK OFF YC RC
2013 KC 20 20 1784 1 0 34 13 12 19 43 1 2 0
2014 BOS 17 15 1191 3 2 20 9 9 10 1 1 0 0
2015 BOS 20 20 1785 6 2 81 32 15 23 55 5 0 0
2016 BOS 14 13 1122 1 1 21 7 13 23 23 2 0 0
2017 WAS/CHI 15 11 980 3 1 25 15 10 15 48 1 1 0

Whether because of injuries, international duty, or both, it’s clear Mewis played a far larger role for Boston and even in Washington than Brian did in Houston. Mewis has returned to form following an injury-riddled 2016 campaign, her worst season since her first year in Boston.

After she failed to appear in three consecutive matches in August before being dealt, Mewis promptly scored on the first shot she took against the Spirit, a performance that reflects the type of attitude and execution the Dash need going forward.