United States international Rose Lavelle says the “idea of playing in the Champions League” was a key factor in her decision to sign for Manchester City. The 25-year-old midfielder was traded to OL Reign this week, but immediately agreed on a deal that would see her play for City next season.
OL Reign, the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) franchise of French club Olympique Lyonnais, will continue to control Lavelle’s playing rights if the USWNT playmaker returns to the United States.
“The [Women’s Super League] is a great league that keeps getting better every year. It is attracting a lot of really great players,” Lavelle told BBC Sport.
“Manchester City is obviously a great club in the men’s and the women’s side. They have a lot of resources. I don’t know much about the city yet but I know that the football culture is amazing so all of that was something I wanted to be a part of.”
Washington will receive OL Reign’s natural first-round draft pick
– OL Reign
OL Reign acquired Lavelle’s playing rights earlier this week via a trade with Washington Spirit.
“As a result of the trade, OL Reign will control Lavelle’s future playing rights in the NWSL,” said a Reign club statement.
“Washington will receive OL Reign’s natural first-round draft pick in the 2022 NWSL College Draft, $100,000 in allocation money and additional allocation money conditioned upon Lavelle’s future playing status in the NWSL.”
Lavelle is the third player to sign for City this summer, following USWNT team-mate Sam Mewis and Lionesses forward Chole Kelly. Lavelle told reports that she and Mewis had been “keeping each other in the loop” as their negotiations to join the Citizens progressed.
“It [Mewis’ transfer to City] wasn’t the deciding factor but it is really nice to know that there is not just going to be a familiar face, but one of my best friends there too to experience [the WSL] with.”
The Cincinnati native played a starring role at the 2019 Women’s World Cup
Lavelle has made 45 appearances for the USWNT, scoring on 12 occasions for the United States. The Cincinnati native played a starring role at the 2019 Women’s World Cup and was named the third-best player at the tournament as the USA beat the Netherlands to retain their title.
City finished second in the Women’s Super League last season, missing out on the title after the final standings were decided by points-per-game. The Citizens begin the 2020/21 campaign with a trip to newly-promoted Aston Villa.
Former England and Arsenal striker Kelly Smith has suggested that “Lavelle will bring a new dimension to City,” adding that she rates the USWNT midfielder as “one of the best in the world.”
Katie Chapman, former Chelsea and England midfielder, said: “Manchester City is obviously a great club and they want to win trophies so they are going to be bringing the best players to their club to help them do that.”