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Rose Lavelle bolsters ‘dangerous’ USWNT attack in return

Rose Lavelle missed the first two games of the SheBelieves Cup but returned for Wednesday's finale against Brazil. (Andrew Hancock/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Rose Lavelle returned to the lineup for the U.S. women’s national team Wednesday against Brazil, and her presence helped to bolster her team’s attack in the 2-1 win.

The 27-year-old midfielder missed the first two games of the SheBelieves Cup after picking up a knock in training. She came back to the pitch and had an assist on a Mallory Swanson goal in the finale of the round-robin tournament.

Following Wednesday’s match, USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski said that, while Lavelle has room for improvement, he was happy with her play overall.

“I want to say she did what we expected her to do,” he said. “In the moments when she had possession of the ball or when we had possession of the ball to a certain extent, I thought she could be just a little bit more precise with the final ball, and she got frustrated sometimes.

“But then at the end, the goal that we scored, the second goal that Mal scored came from Rose’s pass.”

Lavelle, who is a mainstay in the USWNT’s midfield, was one of just six players to play at least 1,000 minutes for the USWNT in 2022 and seems to be a lock for the World Cup roster. But Andonovski wants to see more from the midfielder.

“I think she’s got a few more of those [passes] a game in her,” he said. “But her positioning, getting the ball in between the lines, [and] being able to turn and run at the back line is what made us dangerous.”