“You guys have no idea how obsessed I am with Cincinnati,” Rose Lavelle told reporters.
Apparently, we don’t.
Before joining the United States Women’s National Team for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, Lavelle returned home Tuesday morning to watch FC Cincinnati practice and see her new mural at The Banks.
Born in Cincinnati, she went to Mount Notre Dame High School and played soccer for four years before accepting a scholarship to the University of Wisconsin. Now, she’s a midfielder on the Washington Spirit in the NWSL while representing the national team.
Despite limited trips back to Cincinnati, that hasn’t diminished her appreciation for the Queen City.
“Everyone knows it about me,” she said about her civic pride. “I would live here forever if I can. I love this city and it’s the city that built me into the person I am today and the player that I am today.
“I’m so proud to go and represent it on the world stage.”
The Women’s World Cup begins next month, when the U.S. will play for a second-straight championship and a fourth overall.
Lavelle is the second Cincinnatian to play at a World Cup. The first was Heather Mitts in 2011. Then, the U.S. lost to Japan on penalties in the final.
Lavelle currently has 26 caps and seven goals for the USWNT.
If the Americans win the World Cup – and she plays – the 24-year-old said it’d be in honor of soccer in Cincinnati.
“I think it’d kind of be a tribute to soccer in this city,” she said. “I think it’s been a very underrated soccer city for a long time now.
“It’s awesome we have FC Cincinnati now because people across the country, across the world, are seeing that now. I think it’s always been here, but it’s been kind of nice to have this platform and showcase it now.”