Fresh off of helping the U.S. Women’s National Team win the CONCACAF Championship and clinch a 2019 World Cup berth, Cincinnati native Rose Lavelle returned home to watch FC Cincinnati’s USL Cup quarterfinal match against Nashville SC on Saturday.
It was the end of a big week for Lavelle, a product of Mount Notre Dame High School and a midfielder for the USWNT. Lavelle scored less than two minutes in from outside the box on Wednesday, helping send the U.S. to a 2-0 victory over Canada and the CONCACAF title. She started in four of the tournament’s five matches.
— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) October 18, 2018
“It’s been super fun and I think a little bit of a weight is off my shoulders because I think qualifiers was kind of stressing me out,” Lavelle told reporters behind the Nippert Stadium press box Saturday before FC Cincinnati’s match. “Obviously anything can happen in soccer. So (I’m) relieved, but also very, very excited for the next upcoming year.”
A lot has happened for Lavelle since she started for the USWNT at Nippert in a friendly last September against New Zealand.
Her NWSL club team Boston Breakers folded in January, and she was sent to the Washington Spirit in a dispersal draft. An injury kept her sidelined for about a year, she said. She made just 11 appearances for the Spirit, with the club collecting just 11 points in an eighth place finish. But Lavelle has four goals for the USWNT in 11 appearances this year. Overall she has 18 caps and six goals for the national team.
“Thankfully the coaching staff and all of them were super patient with me, which really helped me coming back — having more confidence in myself and not getting too worried that maybe I wasn’t playing right off the bat,” Lavelle said of her return from her injury. “That really kind of helped me settle back into my role. Things are always changing, and it’s so competitive. Right now I’m starting, but that can always change. I can’t get complacent. There’s always someone on my heels.”
The USWNT beat Jamaica 6-0 on Oct. 14 to cement a spot in the 2019 World Cup in France.
While Lavelle certainly has been busy with club and country, she’s also found time to come to a few FC Cincinnati matches this season.
— FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) October 20, 2018
“They’ve always been so fun,” Lavelle said. “It’s something I kind of brag about to everybody. It’s going to just continue to grow. It’s going to be even more fun once it’s an MLS team.”
Earlier this month, FC Cincinnati announced plans to apply for an NWSL expansion team and to launch a girls youth development program.
That’s exciting news for Lavelle, who followed the career of fellow Cincinnatian and former USWNT star Heather Mitts.
“I love it,” Lavelle said. “I love playing in D.C. too, but if Cincinnati ever got a team, I think it’d be so awesome. Even whatever team I was playing on — to be able to come home and play here with all my family who travels a lot for all my games — would be so special.”