The USWNT will be without one of their star midfielders for their opening match against Canada.
Vlatko Andonovski announced Wednesday that Rose Lavelle was injured with a “knock” during training. Andonovski did not share what kind of injury she suffered or its severity, but he confirmed Lavelle will not be available when the USWNT take on Canada tonight in their opening match of the SheBelieves Cup.
Rose Lavelle suffered an injury during training and will not play in game 1 of the SheBelieves Cup, but has not been ruled out for games 2 and 3. pic.twitter.com/2MLEZnxMWt— Just Women’s Sports (@justwsports) February 15, 2023
Lavelle has been instrumental for the USWNT, one of only 6 players to log 1,000 minutes in 2022. She was captain in the match against New Zealand last month, more evidence that she is no longer just a rising star on the team.
Losing the 27-midfielder puts the USWNT in a much tougher spot when it comes to the situation at midfield. With Julie Ertz and Sam Mewis less than likely to be a part of the team anytime soon, the conversation of finding the best midfield for the 2023 World Cup has increased by the month.
The call for a different formation, specifically a double-pivot set, would put Lavelle in better situations to create opportunities and negate the loss of the two best end-to-end midfielders in the world. Without Lavelle, that formation change could be inevitable.
Lavelle injury could be another drop of gasoline to the fire.
A lot of people on This Website have been calling for the USWNT to shift to a double pivot shape that gives Andi Sullivan some more defensive support and moves Rose Lavelle (or Ashley Sanchez, given Lavelle's knock?) higher up the pitch. It's a better use of current personnel.— Kim McCauley (@kimischilling) February 15, 2023
While this may only be a one-game injury, it will be interesting to see what pairings Andonovski put together. Ashley Sanchez is likely to replace Lavelle, but we might see Taylor Kornieck get another shot in the midfield.
Kickoff is set for 7:00pm in Orlando.