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Cincinnati's Rose Lavelle Named To USA Soccer Olympic Team

rose lavelle
David J. Phillip
United States' Rose Lavelle (16) brings the ball up the field against Portugal during the second half of an international friendly soccer match Thursday, June 10, 2021, in Houston.

Cincinnati native and World Cup champion Rose Lavelle will look to add another medal to her trophy case this summer. The Mount Notre Dame High School soccer stand out is one of 18 players selected for the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team heading to the Tokyo Olympics in July.

This will be the first Olympic Games for the midfielder, who plays professionally for OL Reign in Seattle after returning from a stint in England with Manchester City, which won the Women's FA Cup in Nov. 2020.

"Rose Lavelle, it's not a secret the quality that she has," Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski tells WVXU. "I believe she has a quality to unlock defenses, unlock teams, in a way that not many players in the world can do. (Her) ability to penetrate on the dribble and eliminate players on the dribble is exceptional. I think Rose Lavelle is the type of player that any coach would welcome on a team."

Lavelle's been a regular fixture with the U.S. National Team (USWNT) since being the number one NWSL draft pickin 2017. She played a pivotal role in the USA's 2019 World Cup run, scoring in multiple matches, including sealing the World Cup final match by scoring the second goal and ensuring the USA's 2-nil victory over the Netherlands.

A mural of her likeness was installed at The Banks ahead of the 2019 World Cup. Upon her return to the United States, she was honored with a key to the city of Cincinnati. Lavelle speaks often to media about her love for her hometown.

"I always say that Cincinnati is the city that built me into the player and the person that I am today," Lavelle told WVXU in 2019. "I think the support that I get from Cincinnati means so much to me because this city means so much to me."

The USWNT plays two send-off matches against Mexico before heading to Tokyo. They are July 1 and July 5 at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn.

The U.S. opens Group G play on July 21 – two days before the Olympic Opening Ceremony– against Sweden (5:30 p.m. local / 4:30 a.m. EDT) at Tokyo Stadium. The second match against New Zealand is in Saitama – about 18 miles north of Tokyo – on July 24 (8:30 p.m. local / 7:30 a.m. EDT). The final group match against Australia is on July 27 (5 p.m. local / 4 a.m. EDT) in Kashima, on the coast of Japan about 70 miles northeast of Tokyo.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.