NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Fans already know the names of United States women’s national soccer team members like Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan. But every World Cup tournament offers new up-and-coming talent a chance to make themselves household names. And this year, some people are pointing to Cincinnati, Ohio native Rose Lavelle.
“She’s the player that can play it with such a deft touch that opens things up for teammates,” said Aly Wagner, FOX Sports’ lead analyst for the World Cup.
“I’m really excited, this is going to be my major tournament,” Lavelle told FOX 5 NY.
Lavelle, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, has made 27 appearances for the USWNT, and her performances in midfield have earned her rave reviews.
“When she plays in that attacking center-mid position, that number 10 role, she has the ability to play in some of the really, really special players that the U.S. has,” said Daniele Slaton, a former defender for the USWNT and FOX Sports game analyst for the World Cup.
At just 5’4”, Lavelle isn’t the biggest presence on the field, but her determination and resilience has allowed her to succeed and overcome the kind of injuries that might have derailed other player’s careers.
“The biggest thing I overcame was my hamstring injury. I got it in 2017 and it carried over into 2018. Over the course of the year I ended up tearing all three muscles in my hamstring, and as hard as it was physically, I think mentally it was even harder,” Lavelle said. “But I feel like there’s a lot of silver lining in it and I learned so much about myself during that time that I feel like it’s made me better because of it.”
When the USWNT lost to Germany in the 2003 World Cup semi-finals, Lavelle said she cried. Now, she thinks about 9-year-old Rose and what she would think abut 24-year-old Rose, a starting midfielder helping defend a World Cup title.