The country's Olympic soccer darling is coming home.
Fresh from her effort at the Tokyo Olympics, Cincinnati's own Rose Lavelle is bringing the U.S. Women's National Team (USWNT) with her to the Queen City on September 21 for a FIFA match against Paraguay. The match at TQL Stadium in the West End is part of the team's 2021 domestic schedule and takes place within the FIFA international match window, a U.S. Soccer release says.
The match in Cincinnati will be the USWNT's first in TQL Stadium and just the second that the team has played since returning from Tokyo earlier this month. The team first will play Paraguay at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland.
"The work never stops and every game we play has meaning," head coach Vlatko Andonovski says in a release. "These games are important to welcome back our Olympic Team to play in front of our home fans, but they are also the first steps towards 2023 World Cup qualifying. We all know we have to be at the top of our game to win at the highest levels and the dedication of the entire group to that pursuit will never change."
Pre-sales for the Cincinnati and Cleveland matches will begin Monday, Aug. 23, with public sales beginning Friday, Aug. 27. Pre-sales are available to U.S. Soccer Insider members and Visa cardholders.
USWNT also will play matches in Kansas City and St. Paul in October, both against Korea Republic. The St. Paul match will be the final game for USWNT legend Carli Lloyd, a release says.
The women's team won a bronze medal in this summer's Olympic Games. Having been favored for gold, the players suffered an unexpected shutout from Sweden at the start. But in the following game, Lavelle scored Team USA's first goal, kicking off an absolute annihilation of New Zealand. The USWNT reported that the team's six goals that day made for their highest margin of victory at the Olympics ever.
Andonovski announced the Olympics roster in June, with Lavelle joining World Cup breakout stars Megan Rapinoe, Becky Sauerbrunn and Lloyd on the 2020 team (though the Tokyo Olympics happened in 2021, they still were considered to be the 2020 Olympic Games due to the coronavirus pandemic delay).
Lavelle, who graduated from Mount Notre Dame High School in 2013, was named the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Player of the Year during her senior year. After a career at the University of Wisconsin, Lavelle became the No. 1 draft pick in the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League, playing for the Boston Breakers. Lavelle was named MVP during the 2021 SheBelieves Cup’s winning match earlier this year.
She also was vital to the USWNT’s exuberant World Cup victory in 2019. Lavelle started all six games and scored three goals, including one in the finals against the Netherlands.
At just a few months old, TQL Stadium already is earning its international soccer stripes. On Nov. 12, the U.S. Men's National Team will play Mexico in a 2022 World Cup qualifying match at TQL Stadium.
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