Rose Lavelle Gears Up for Netherlands Rematch with a Fresh Approach
Rose Lavelle, the midfielder with cherished memories of the Women's World Cup final victory over the Netherlands four years ago, approaches the upcoming rematch in Wellington on Thursday with a brand-new mindset. Her remarkable goal in the 2019 final, complementing Megan Rapinoe's earlier penalty, catapulted her to stardom in American soccer.
However, with a new coach and 14 World Cup newcomers on the team, Lavelle and her colleagues are embracing a different approach against the Netherlands, expecting it to be a significant challenge during the group stage.
Lavelle emphasized that the team does not view their mission as defending a title but rather attacking new goals. "We have the mindset that we're attacking something, and that's how we feel ... (2019 is) a fun memory, but I think we just have to take it one game at a time and kind of be present - don't look too far in the past, don't look too far forward," she shared with reporters.
After recovering from a knee injury that kept her sidelined before the tournament, Lavelle made a vital second-half appearance as a substitute in the United States' 3-0 win over Vietnam in their World Cup opener.
Now fit and ready to play, Lavelle and her team aim to improve their performance, as they had missed several scoring opportunities against the tournament debutants. She believes that patience and a probing approach will be essential to stretch the opposition and capitalize on scoring chances.
The Netherlands, ranked ninth in the world, began their Group E campaign with a victory against newcomers Portugal. Although they will be without their top scorer Vivianne Miedema due to an ACL injury last year, Lavelle and her teammates anticipate a fierce and physically intense match against the Dutch, given the previous encounters, including the Americans' victory over them on penalties in the Tokyo Olympic quarter-finals.
Lavelle expressed excitement for the challenge ahead, as the team prepares to face a talented and determined Dutch squad, known for their technical prowess and set-piece skills.