all scores

OL Reign coach: Rose Lavelle may not return to NWSL before World Cup

Rose Lavelle, who has played with OL Reign since 2021, is an unrestricted free agent. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

Rose Lavelle may not make her NWSL return prior to the 2023 World Cup, OL Reign head coach Laura Harvey said Tuesday.

The 28-year-old midfielder has missed the last eight matches across all competitions for OL Reign with a knee injury. During the U.S. women’s national team’s first friendly against Ireland in April, she picked up what coach Vlatko Andonovski described as “a little knock.” She missed the second friendly and hasn’t taken the pitch since then.

While Lavelle “was really on track to be back,” she has suffered a setback in her recovery, Harvey told Equalizer’s Bella Munson. Lavelle’s status “changes all the time,” according to the coach.

“I would love her to be on the field tomorrow,” she told Munson. “I don’t think that’s gonna happen. I hope that we get to see her before the World Cup but honestly right now I don’t know.”

Just 10 days earlier, Harvey had provided a more optimistic status update, noting that the midfielder had returned to training with the team.

Lavelle starred for the USWNT at the 2019 World Cup, and she is expected to make the roster for the upcoming tournament. The roster is set to be announced in June, and all national team players will be released from their NWSL duties on June 26 to prepare for the World Cup, which kicks off July 20 in Australia and New Zealand.

The USWNT already is dealing with a number of injuries, with Mallory Swanson, Catarina Macario and Sam Mewis among the players who will miss the tournament. Those injuries make Lavelle’s status all the more important for the two-time defending World Cup champions.