Rose Lavelle: Manchester City sign USA World Cup winner

18 August 2020 0 By Total Football News
Rose Lavelle (left) played against England and a number of her Manchester City team-mates in the 2020 SheBelieves Cup as the USA were crowned champions

World Cup winner Rose Lavelle says the "idea of playing in the Champions League and competing for so many titles" played a role in her move to Manchester City.

The United States midfielder joined OL Reign this week from Washington Spirit but immediately signed an agreement to play outside the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL).

OL Reign will control Lavelle's future playing rights in the American league.

"It will be a fun challenge," she said.

"The [Women's Super League] is a great league that keeps getting better every year. It is attracting a lot of really great players," Lavelle told BBC Sport.

"Manchester City is obviously a great club in the men's and the women's side. They have a lot of resources. I don't know much about the city yet but I know that the football culture is amazing so all of that was something I wanted to be a part of."

The 25-year-old, who is City's third summer signing, scored in last year's World Cup final as the USA beat the Netherlands to retain their title.

Lavelle has made 45 appearances for her country, scoring 12 times, and was named the third best player at the 2019 World Cup, behind compatriot Megan Rapinoe and England's Lucy Bronze.

She was also named in the NWSL Best XI in 2019 while playing for Washington Spirit.

Manchester City have also signed Lavelle's USA team-mate Sam Mewis and England international forward Chloe Kelly from Everton this summer.

"We [Lavelle and Mewis] were definitely keeping each other in the loop with where we were at in our decision-making," Lavelle added.

"It wasn't the deciding factor but it is really nice to know that there is not just going to be a familiar face, but one of my best friends there too to experience it with."

City narrowly missed out on their second WSL title last season - they were top of the table when the campaign was suspended in March because of the coronavirus pandemic, but dropped to second spot when final positions were decided on a points-per-game basis.

Under new boss Gareth Taylor, they will start the 2020-21 season with an away game at newly-promoted Aston Villa during the weekend of 5-6 September.

'Looking to be the best version of myself'

Rose Lavelle was named the third-best player at the 2019 World Cup

Lavelle says she is "excited to learn from" City's group of midfielders, which includes England internationals Keira Walsh and Jill Scott, as well as Scotland's Caroline Weir.

Lavelle played in the World Cup semi-final victory over England last year and a 2-0 win in the SheBelieves Cup in March.

"I've had the chance to play against them on the international stage and they are all great players. It will be such a fun midfield to be a part of and get the opportunity to train with them every day, not against them like usual," said Lavelle.

"I have a lot to learn and I can't wait to do so with these players. When I talked to [Manchester City coach Gareth Taylor] he made me really excited about it.

"He was telling me about how he wanted the team to play and about the environment, how the girls are meshing and how he saw me fitting into that. He is somebody that will really help to elevate my game and make me more of a complete player."

Lavelle added she hoped to join "an environment which makes me feel uncomfortable and pushes me".

She said: "I am looking to be the best version of myself I can be. I think pressure and expectation is a part of sports, especially if you make it to the professional level."

Analysis: 'Lavelle will bring new dimension to City'

Former England and Arsenal striker Kelly Smith

I rate [Rose Lavelle] as one of the best in the world. She is very easy on the eye to watch. She's silky, has great vision, great passing and she scores goals.

She was outstanding at the last World Cup so she will bring a new dimension to that Manchester City side. Sam Mewis is a brilliant attacking player too so that's two of the best that they have signed. It just goes to show the draw we now have in this country to bring the best over.

Former England and Chelsea midfielder Katie Chapman

It's raising the standards again. Manchester City is obviously a great club and they want to win trophies so they are going to be bringing the best players to their club to help them do that.

It's really promising to see these players come over. I'm excited to watch them and to see how competitive it is because I don't think it's going to be easy. It will be really interesting.

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