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Report: Rose Lavelle, Emily Sonnett ‘in advanced talks’ with Gotham FC

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Emily Sonnett and Rose Lavelle speak with Kristie Mewis during a USWNT training session. (Jenna Watson/USA TODAY Sports)

After winning the 2023 NWSL championship, Gotham FC is surging into the offseason, with free agents and U.S. women’s national team stars Rose Lavelle and Emily Sonnett reportedly in “advanced discussions” to sign with the club.

The news was first reported by The Athletic’s Meg Linehan, though according to her sources, no paperwork has been signed yet.

Both Lavelle and Sonnett were major players for OL Reign in the 2023 NWSL final, in which their team fell, 2-1, to Gotham.

Last month, OL Reign general manager Lesle Gallimore said the club had been in contact with both players “just about daily” since the season ended. But head coach Laura Harvey also said the club was encouraging players to explore free agency.

“I just think that free agency is something that players should live through,” Harvey said. “I said this last year with our free agents: They should live through it. And I think the expansion draft adds an extra wrinkle to that, that they know that if they’re still free, they can’t be picked. So that gives them some power [over] their own destiny outside of wherever they choose their next destination to be.”

Even with that encouragement, though, Harvey also made it clear that she wants to see midfielders Lavelle and Sonnett back on her roster in 2024.

“I think everyone knows that we really value Rose and Sonnett,” she continued. “They’re a huge part of our team. I think Sonnett’s evolution this year has been exceptional. Rose obviously had a tough year, but you saw that at the back end of the season what she can do. They know that we love them, and we want them to stay here.

Lavelle and Sonnett aren’t the only big names to be tied to Gotham in free agency. Fellow USWNT veteran Crystal Dunn has also been linked to the club, with CBS Sports reporting earlier this month that Gotham, the Orlando Pride and the Washington Spirit all are interested in her services, though The Athletic later reported that the Pride were no longer among the top contenders.

After winning the first NWSL title in franchise history, Gotham lost Ali Krieger to retirement and Ellie Jean and Mandy Haught to trades for expansion draft protection.

OL Reign are up for sale this offseason, which could throw a wrench in their free agency plans. NWSL commissioner Jessica Berman has said that the club should be sold by the end of the year.

The NWSL’s transaction window opened at 9 a.m. ET Saturday. It will remain open until 6 p.m. ET Friday before closing for a holiday break and reopening on Dec. 29.