Fresh off her star turn in the US women's national team's march to a record fourth FIFA Women's World Cup championship, Rose Lavelle returned to her hometown on Thursday to be honored at halftime of FC Cincinnati 's match vs. D.C. United – and on her way, she dropped by the ESPN booth to chat with the commentary team of Adrian Healey and Alejandro Moreno.
In addition to some conversation about the USWNT's impressive run at France 2019, Lavelle – who scored the game-clinching goal in the WWC final vs. the Netherlands – hailed FCC's role in drawing national and international attention to her city's slept-on status as a footy hotbed.
"It's been crazy," she said of FC Cincy's delirious rise from USL newcomers to MLS expansion darlings in less than four years. "But honestly, I would say this: I've always thought this city was a very underrated soccer city. There's been a lot of talent that comes out of here, there's so many club teams. And I feel like there’s always been this excitement and buzz around soccer.
"So I love now that there’s an MLS team, it’s kind of a platform for the rest of the country and the rest of the world to see what I feel like I’ve always known."