Rose Lavelle Is Already a USWNT Hero, and She's Only Getting Started
Like most humans, Rose Lavelle loves Chipotle. She's also a fan of country music. But her soccer skills set her apart from us all. Lavelle was one of the youngest players on the US Women's National Team at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, where she made an incredible debut with two goals in the USA's first game against Thailand. That game ended up being a record-setting win, and the USWNT went on to secure another World Cup title — in huge part due to Lavelle's goal in the second half of the final match. This year, Lavelle joins the USWNT for her second World Cup and an attempted three-peat for the US. If they succeed, they'll be the first team in World Cup history (men's or women's) to win three tournaments in a row.
Lavelle sat out for most of the US's first 2023 World Cup game against Vietnam, as she's still recovering from a knee injury she picked up in April. But she was officially cleared to hit the field as a starter on the USWNT's second match on July 26.
"I'm excited and nervous like I was in 2019," Lavelle told POPSUGAR just ahead of the tournament. "I have a bit more knowledge of what to expect day-to-day, but the whole experience is always super special, so I can't wait."
POPSUGAR had a chance to sit down with Lavelle, both before she headed to the 2019 World Cup and the 2023 World Cup, so we got to know a little bit more about her.
Fast Facts About Rose Lavelle
- Lavelle is a midfielder.
- She's 28 (her birthday is May 14).
- She grew up in Cincinnati.
- She went to the University of Wisconsin where she was a three-time NSCAA All-American.
- She plays professionally for OL Reign.
- Lavelle represented USA at the 2014 Under-20 tournament.
- Because of her standout performance there, Lavelle was invited to train with the women's national team for the first time during the final four matches of the 2015 World Cup victory tour.
How Rose Lavelle Feels Going Into the 2023 World Cup
After an incredibly successful World Cup debut, Lavelle is heading into this one with a little more wisdom around what to expect. "I just learned to take each day and match one at a time," she tells POPSUGAR. "You can only control what's directly in front of you, and we can't start thinking about any potential opponent in the future. Make sure you're doing all you can to recover and get ready physically and mentally for the next match."
The USWNT World Cup roster has a whopping 14 rookies playing in this tournament for the first time — that's more than half of the team. Lavelle has some advice: "I would just tell them to take a moment to soak in the experience and, as important as the tournament is, you need to take some time to enjoy it," she says. "The tournament goes by quicker than you may think, and you never know if/when you'll be back at another World Cup."
How Rose Lavelle Trains and Recovers
Like Kylie Jenner, Kerry Washington, and so many other people right now, Lavelle loves a Pilates class. "Recovery is a crucial part of being an athlete, so I'm always looking to new techniques and products to improve," she says. As a partner of Icy Hot, Lavelle says she uses their products — specifically Icy Hot Pro — to help "relieve my muscles and joints after a game or training session. You can tell it's been made for muscles and joints that've been pushed to their limits — it's a next-level pain reliever," she says.
When Lavelle isn't working out, she also told us in 2019 that she'll do cryotherapy, go on a light jog for active rest, or "just chill." Her favorite app for meditation is Headspace. She regularly sees a sports psychologist who has helped her overcome the burden of past injuries and the stress that an international stage can put on your body and mind. Sports psychologists are there to listen to your insecurities, Lavelle explained, and she values having that outlet.
Rose Lavelle's Pre- and Post-Game Rituals
"I'm honestly not superstitious," Lavelle says, admitting that she tries to "stay away" from having any particular pre-game rituals. After the game, however, is a different story: "My go-to post-game snack is a protein shake, and Chipotle is one of my faves to re-fuel," she adds.
And when she slips off her jersey, she's all about sweats. "I love wearing my groutfits from Nike right now," she says. "They're definitely my go-to."
In 2019, she told POPSUGAR she enjoys sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee for self-care, and does a specific breathing technique where she counts her breaths to calm her nerves midgame.
Still, Lavelle always looks right at home on the soccer field — and we expect the current World Cup to be no different. When we asked if, growing up, Lavelle ever contemplated picking a different sport, she immediately said no. "Nothing compares to soccer."
— Additional reporting by Lauren Mazzo