Rose Lavelle celebrates her goal against the Dutch at the 2019 Women’s World Cup. (Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
The Dutch national flower is, more or less, is the tulip,
The Netherlands women’s national team, however, might not be too crazy about roses, these days, especially soccer players named Rose.
We’re talking about Rose Lavelle, who has become a major thorn in the Dutch side.
For the second match in a row, Lavelle help do in the Dutch, scoring for the United States to a 2-0 victory in the Americans’ first international match in 261 days Friday.
In the final some 509 days ago, Lavelle tallied the insurance goal of the USA’s fourth Women’s World Cup championship. Lavelle was not made available to the media after the match.
“Rose is an incredible player,” said left back Crystal Dunn, a Rockville Centre, N.Y. native said in a video press conference with the media. “She’s a young player but she plays so much further beyond her years. She’s proven time and time again that she is skilled and an elite player at this level
“The goal she scores, she can do that, day in and day out. She’s an incredible addition to our team. She has so much more that she can even give this team. So, it’s been fun obviously just having her playing alongside her and just watching her grow.”
Probably not so much fun for the Dutch.
After Megan Rapinoe had given the USWNT a 1-0 lead in the second half of the Women’s World Cup final, Lavelle struck to give her team some breathing room en route to a 2-0 triumph July 7, 2019.
This time, Lavelle scored in the first half.
After a quick change of possession in the USA end inn the 41st minute, Christen Press and Lavelle found themselves on a two-on-five break against the Dutch. Press found Lavelle on the right flank and the midfielder struck a left-footed shot from 16 yards into the far left side for a 1-0 lead.
Needless to say, U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski was happy his 25-year-old standout midfielder scored and also listened to tactical instructions from assistant coach Milan Ivanovic, “who spent a lot of time with her in individual session, working on that exact move and exact shot in the same exact spot.”
“The fact that she was able to soak up the information and and implement it in a game, and a game against the opponent like the Netherlands, it just makes me happy because that just tells us how coachable she is and as good as she is, how much she still wants to learn.”
Lavelle, the Bronze Boot winner at the World Cup, hasn’t been getting as much playing time with Manchester City a player of her stature deserves. Injuries have played a a role.
“I don’t know if I expected any more or less with her playing time,” Andonovski said. “I think that she needed a little bit of time to adjust one thing and then she had a small injury. So, that’s why I don’t know if I had any expectations, but I think that she’s finally healthy. She’s playing well. She’s mentally in a good stage, and the fact that she’s scored a goal like this I think just proves that she’s ready, and she’s a real good player.”
Much to the chagrin of the Dutch.