From playing for Cincinnati United to the U.S. Women’s National Team, Rose Lavelle is a well-known hometown hero. As a Xavier basketball fan and Skyline Chili enthusiast, it’s no secret she’s proud of her roots.
Long before bringing home a World Cup victory for the U.S. in 2019 and a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, Lavelle made a name for herself as a high school soccer star playing for Mt. Notre Dame High School, with The Cincinnati Enquirer naming her 2013 Player of the Year. She grabbed international attention after scoring three goals in the 2019 World Cup, including the second goal against the Netherlands in the final, earning her a ranking as the sixth-best women’s soccer player in the world by FIFA. She currently plays professional club soccer for OL Reign in Seattle alongside USWNT teammate Megan Rapinoe.
As the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup begins July 20, Lavelle looks forward to a second appearance with her U.S. teammates. “Every World Cup is different, so you never know what to expect, but after going through it in 2019 I can say that you experience every emotion possible,” Lavelle told Cincinnati Magazine earlier this month. “It’s just a special time in a player’s career, so I’m going to do my best to enjoy every minute.”
Competing alongside Lavelle is fellow Cincinnati native Aubrey Kingsbury, making her World Cup debut. “She’s one of the few who really understands how much I love Cincinnati, so we have that bond,” says Lavelle. “She’s a great person and player and just a wonderful member of our team.”
And what’s next for Lavelle after the World Cup? Some sleep, she hopes, plus a few days to spend with her family and dog, Wilma Jean Wrinkles, before more soccer and the NWSL club season’s final stretch.
Cup in the Air
Lavelle won’t be the only Cincinnati native defending the U.S. Women’s National Team’s World Cup title this year. She’s joined by World Cup first-timer Aubrey Kingsbury, the 31-year-old goalkeeper out of St. Ursula Academy who currently plays with the Washington Spirit.
The ninth iteration of the Women’s World Cup kicks off July 20, with 32 teams split into eight groups of four. The U.S. faces Group E counterparts Vietnam (funny enough, they’re set to play at Auckland’s Eden Park) and the Netherlands, with Team USA facing Portugal on August 1 (set your alarms for 3 a.m.) The two highest-scoring teams in the group after three matches advance to the round of 16. The quarterfinals run August 10–12, semifinals on August 15 and 16, and the final on August 20.
Update: The USWNT advanced to the Round of 16 but was eliminated by Sweden in a 5-4 loss by penalty kicks on August 6.