With the end of the Women’s Super League season in England last weekend, and rumors starting to come out about the fate of US internationals who were playing in that league, the question of Rose Lavelle has been at the front of mind for many OL Reign fans. The Equalizer’s Jeff Kassouf and Dan Lauletta reported today that Lavelle is now expected to join the Reign later this summer, likely after the Olympics conclude in early August. The Reign play 12 games between Aug. 1 and the end of the regular season.
OL Reign aren't done adding major pieces: multiple sources tell @EqualizerSoccer (me & @TheDanLauletta) that Rose Lavelle will join the Reign this summer after a season with Manchester City. The Reign acquired Lavelle's NWSL rights in a trade with the Washington Spirit last year.— Jeff Kassouf (@JeffKassouf) May 12, 2021
Ride of the Valkyries sources have shared similar reports, and head coach Farid Benstiti may have accidentally alluded to Lavelle’s impending arrival in a press conference this week. When asked about what he’s hoping to get out of these first few matches before the incoming players arrive, Benstiti said, “If I started to anticipate now how we will play with Lavelle, Le Sommer for sure, Marozsan and Sarah [Bouhaddi], it will be a mistake. I really want to continue to trust the 20 players who will be on the roster and the 11 players who start. I will be 100% with them, and we will continue in this way until I decide when the other players are ready.”
OL Reign acquired Lavelle’s NWSL rights from the Washington Spirit in August of last year, shortly before it was announced that she would be signing with Manchester City for the 2020-21 WSL season. In exchange, the Spirit acquired $100k in allocation money and the Reign’s 2022 1st round draft pick, with more allocation money (reported to be another $100k) due to the Spirit if Lavelle were to join the Reign. If she does return to the NWSL, she would be an allocated player.
There had been some questions about Lavelle’s plans after the end of the WSL season. Her contract with Manchester City included a mutual option for a second year, but after not receiving many starts and rarely playing in her preferred central role, picking up that option seemed unlikely. Lavelle finished the WSL season with just 3 starts and 13 substitute appearances, scoring one goal in 455 minutes of league play, plus two more goals in 134 minutes of domestic cup play and four appearances in Champions League.
Other suitors have also reportedly emerged, including Lyon, as well as other teams in the NWSL, so it’s still possible that Lavelle will end up in another team’s colors when all is said and done. The club offered no comment when asked about Lavelle, but did confirm to Ride of the Valkyries that they expect to make 1-2 more player announcements in the coming month.