The Women’s World Cup may be over for another four years, but the breakthrough tournament of one young US star already has fans excited about the future.
Few will have arguably heard the name Rose Lavelle before France 2019 but the 24-year-old was the talk of social media following her stunning performance in not only the final, but throughout the competition.
Just four years ago, the slight Washington Spirit star was watching some of her now teammates lift the World Cup from a pizza shop as an amateur footballer.
Not many players in the world will have enjoyed such a meteoric rise – from World Cup final pizza parties to World Cup final winner.
Soon after the final whistle, Twitter turned into an ode to Rose Lavelle as USWNT fans reveled in their new found superstar, not least because of her sense of humor as well as her ability to score important goals.
“I like my left foot,” she quipped after using it to drill home the USWNT’s second goal against the Netherlands.
Not only did she become many fans’ favorite player on the pitch, she also became their favorite account on Twitter.
She can also add Landon Donovan, joint all-time top scorer for the USMNT, to her burgeoning list of fan club members.
There were emotional scenes back in Lavelle’s home city of Cincinnati, Ohio, as hundreds gathered to cheer on their hometown hero.
She may look friendly and have a dry line in humor, but don’t let that smile fool you. Lavelle, who earned the Bronze Ball for the tournament’s third best player, doesn’t take any prisoners when the ball is at her feet.
Meanwhile as the USWNT waited to be crowned world champions, a deafening chant of “equal pay” rang out around Lyon’s Groupama Stadium.
That was a reference to a lawsuit with the US Soccer Federation over the right to be paid the same as their male counterparts. Last month US Soccer and USWNT agreed to enter mediation after the World Cup was over.
The USWNT’s first goal in the final was score by Megan Rapinoe, who has transcended football and this World Cup for both her performances on the pitch – she picked up the best player and the top scorer award – and for her views off it.
“Psssh, I’m not going to the f*****g White House,” she told a reporter last month, after being asked if she was excited about visiting should the US win the World Cup.
Her response irked US President Donald Trump, who said Rapinoe and the team “should WIN first before she talks! Finish the job!”
Turns out even a war of words with a US President couldn’t distract this group of players from their ultimate goal.
While one Twitter user summed up Rapinoe’s World Cup more succinctly.