Rose Lavelle, the
breakout star of the 2019 U.S. Women's World Cup championship team, was traded from the Washington Spirit to OL Reign.
The trade was made with the understanding that Lavelle will move to Europe. The Washington Post reported that Lavelle is expected to sign this week with Manchester City, where she will join fellow national team midfielder Sam Mewis, who just left the North Carolina Courage.
The Spirit acquired OL Reign’s natural 2022 first-round draft pick and $100,000 in allocation money. Additional allocation money is conditional upon Lavelle’s future playing status in the NWSL. OL Reign will hold Lavelle's NWSL rights if she leaves the league. CEO Bill Predmore said OL Reign, owned by the French company that owns Olympique Lyon, is willing to be patient and bring her into the team when she returns home.
“Rose is an incredible talent that we believe has all the attributes to be the best player in the world," he said. "While we would have loved to have Rose join our club today, she fits perfectly into our long-term vision for the squad."
Allocation money was introduced in 2020 to enable NWSL teams to invest funds in players in excess of the current season’s team salary cap, similar to how it is used in MLS. The move was intended to allow NWSL teams to be competitive with European clubs for players other than U.S. national team players, who are under contract with U.S. Soccer. Like in MLS, allocation money is an asset that can be traded.
Lavelle scored the second goal for the USA in its 2-0 win over the Netherlands in the 2019 Women's World Cup final. She has never played more than 11 games in a season in her four years in the NWSL with Boston and Washington, which she joined after the Breakers folded in 2018. She played all four games for the Spirit at the recent NWSL Challenge Cup though her minutes were limited as part of an agreement with U.S. Soccer.
The Cincinnati native attended the University of Wisconsin. She has a connection to the Pacific Northwest, having played for the 2015 Sounders Women that went 10-1-1 in the now defunct W-League.