USWNT star Rose Lavelle suffers injury-related ‘setback’, Worlds availability in doubt


Rose Lavelle scored three goals in six games for the USWNT at the 2019 World Cup. (Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

With the 2022 World Cup still two months away, one of the best players on the USA women’s national team is still missing.

Midfielder Rose Lavelle has not played since apparently suffering a knee injury on April 8 that forced her to miss her side’s second international match against Ireland and is unlikely to return to her NWSL side, OL Reign, before joining the USWNT in New Zealand, according to head coach Laura Harvey.

“She was really coming back, then she suffered a little setback,” Harvey said called Wednesday. “I would love it if she were on the field tomorrow. I don’t think that will happen. I hope we see them before the World Cup, but to be honest I don’t know at the moment. … It changes everything over time.”

While Lavelle has plenty of time before USWNT’s first game against Vietnam on July 21, her inability to return to the field is a bit of a concern when it comes to getting back into game form.

If she doesn’t get fit by the June 26 release date of the NWSL for World Championship players, Lavelle will have missed all but two games for OL Reign this season. The USA will play Wales in a farewell game on July 9 in San Jose, California before traveling to New Zealand ahead of their game against Vietnam.

Lavelle scored three goals in six games at the 2019 World Cup, including the final goal in the title fight that secured a 2-0 win over the Netherlands in the USWNT’s second straight World Cup.

She’s not the only injury USA will have to deal with before they can fight for another title, either. Midfielder Catarina Macario announced on Tuesday that she will miss the tournament as she continues to recover from a cruciate ligament rupture she sustained in June. Forward Mallory Swanson (née Pugh) tore the patellar tendon in her left knee in April and is also likely to miss the World Cup.

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