Rose Lavelle on her performance and the Cincinnati atmosphere
In front of 30,596 fans, the United States Women's Nation Team showed up in a big way. After a shaky start to the game that included several unfinished chances, Lindsey Horan broke open the scoring. From there on, the floodgates were opened and the USA poured it in on New Zealand. After tallying 5 goals total, the US left this camp with a couple strong performances.
But, this night was all about midfielder Rose Lavelle.
This was a special moment for the NWSL's No. 1 pick. Lavelle, who grew up in Cincinnati and played her club ball at Cincinnati United, returned home. The only thing that was limiting Rose was a hamstring injury she suffered earlier this season. In the training the day before the game, Rose said that her hamstring recovery was progressing well. While she did start the game and get a fantastic ovation from her home crowd, the 22-year-old exited in just the 33' before the United States even broke into the scoring column.
Playing about a third of the game did not stop Lavelle from praising Cincinnati following the game.
Following the game, Rose was asked about her performance and playing in Cincinnati. She used words like "surreal" to describe the city and the experience and a more disappointing "rusty" when talking about her performance. But, the rust is also expected as she will be training to get back into shape following her hamstring injury.
Rose really showed her love for the city when she was asked about the atmosphere at Nippert. She said:
"This is incredible. I mean they showed up. Cincinnati showed up. I feel like this is just a further testament to showing the country that this is a soccer city and hopefully a good case to bring an MLS team."Along with Rose, other players of the USWNT complimented the incredible atmosphere that Cincinnati boasts. Jill Ellis and Megan Rapinoe both also showed their appreciation for what FCC has accomplished. Rapinoe commented on the potential of an NWSL team while Ellis said that FCC should be in the MLS. She also added that she "probably pissed someone off saying that."
Paging Don Garber. It is time.
This team has broken just about every record for the USL attendance-wise and now boasts the largest crowd for a USWNT game in Ohio history. Rose, Ellis, and Rapinoe all hit the nail on the head. FC Cincinnati to the MLS will happen.
This city and this team are incredible.