Man City have made another statement of intent in the transfer market with their latest summer signing, USA midfielder Rose Lavelle.
Lavelle, was an integral member of the USA squad as they won the FIFA 2019 Women’s World Cup last year, scooping the prestigious Bronze Ball for her performances during the tournament.
She scored three goals in six games, including one in the final as the USA defeated the Netherlands to clinch their fifth world title.
The 25 year old, also finished sixth at The Best FIFA awards last year and was named in the 2019 FIFA FIFPRO World XI.
An Ohio native, Lavelle played college soccer in America at the University of Wisconsin–Madison for the Wisconsin Badgers. She made 19 appearances, netting six and assisting seven in her first year as her side won the Big Ten Women’s Soccer Tournament.
Lavelle was awarded the Big Ten midfielder of the year in both 2015 and 2016 after impressing in the centre of the park. She got her break in the professional game in 2017, as she was selected as the number one pick at the 2017 NWSL College Draft by the Boston Breakers.
At the Breakers Lavelle showed early promise, netting twice in her first eight games and winning April’s Player of the Month award. A hamstring injury would derail her campaign, however, with Lavelle finishing the season with just ten appearances after missing two months.
After the Breakers folded Lavelle was again selected first overall in another draft, this time linking up with Washington Spirit. International duty has restricted her game time in a Spirit shirt but despite playing just six games last year Lavelle was included in the NWSL Best XI.
She recently took part in the NWSL Challenge Cup, organised as a replacement for the NWSL as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. She scored one goal in four games as Washington lost out to Sky Blue FC on penalties in the first knockout round.
On the international stage is where Lavelle has really shown her quality. She won the Golden Ball at the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s U20 Championship before captaining the side at the 2014 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup, scoring once and creating two more goals.
She was handed her debut for the senior side against England in the SheBelieves Cup in March 2017 and has since gone on to amass a near half century of caps.
She has also got her hands on some silverware, in the form of the 2018 Tournament of Nations, 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, the aforementioned 2019 World Cup and the 2020 SheBelieves Cup earlier this year.
She was traded to OL Reign in the middle of August, with an agreement that she could seek a move abroad, and she chose Manchester as her new destination, linking up with fellow USA import Sam Mewis, who joined the Citizens last week.
Lavelle cited the uncertainty surrounding the league return in America and the allure of playing in the Champions League ahead of the rescheduled Olympics next year as determining factors in choosing WSL runners up, City.
Lavelle told the Guardian:
“I knew I had to stay in the US because the Olympics were coming along. When that didn’t happen and there was no football of any kind happening for months I had to reconsider.
“I am excited at the possibility of playing in the Champions League, I grew up watching that without ever thinking I might get the chance to play in it.”
She credits new City boss Gareth Taylor for convincing her to make the move to England, telling City’s official website:
“After talking with Gareth about the team and how he saw me fitting in, it seemed like a great environment that would really push and develop me as a player.”
With Keira Walsh and USA compatriot Sam Mewis likely to occupy the two holding midfield roles if Taylor opts to play with a three in midfield, Lavelle will likely be pushed on into a more advanced role in the centre of the field, allowing her to roam forward and create chances to devastating effect.
The only cause for concern for City will be ensuring that she stays fit, as she has often struggled with little niggles and injuries which have halted her progress on the club front.
Head coach Taylor was delighted to secure Lavelle’s services as his third signing of the window, after also adding Chloe Kelly and Sam Mewis to City’s ranks as they look to wrestle the WSL crown off Chelsea.
Speaking to Man City’s official website Taylor said:
“We’re thrilled to have secured Rose’s services – with her impressive back catalogue, she is an incredibly exciting player and one we’re all looking forward to working with.”
The Manchester City coach continued:
“I am extremely excited to see her make her mark on the Barclays FA Women’s Super League this season in what will hopefully be a successful campaign for Manchester City Women.”
Having 27 year old Mewis, who Lavelle is very close to, also arriving for a season in the WSL alongside her will surely help Lavelle settle in, and it appears that these two signings are just the tip of the iceberg for USA internationals moving abroad for game time ahead of the upcoming Olympics.
Tobin Heath and Christen Press are also rumoured to be heading to Manchester, with talks ongoing between their representatives and Manchester United.
This will help propel the WSL to new heights with the influx of talented players from abroad and continued investment and coverage of the game it is set to be one of the most competitive seasons the WSL has ever seen.