Rose Lavelle, the breakout USWNT star of the World Cup, didn’t play in the Washington Spirit’s 2-1 loss to the Houston Dash on Sunday. Yet her post-match meeting with a young fan with whom she shares a name won the night.
Rose Lavelle met Rose Lavelle in a sweet moment that flipped the equation, leaving the elder amazed at who she was meeting.
Lavelle, meet Lavelle
The 7-year-old Rose Lavelle and her family waited out a start pushed back to 8 p.m. due to heat and a lightning delay at halftime to meet members of the Spirit squad after the match. She sported a Lavelle Spirit jersey and agreed to take part in a post-game ceremony honoring the USWNT players, as reported by NBC Sports’ Brian McNally.
Rose was supposed to give her flowers to Lavelle during the ceremony, the 24-year-old midfielder whose goal in the World Cup final cemented a victory. But by accident, McNally reported, she was called to give her flowers to someone else.
Luckily, Lavelle turned to her while signing autographs for the group of kids. And it was all worth it.
“Really? Your name’s my name?” Lavelle said, giving her a high-five.
We think Lavelle would agree the entire event is even better than an English bulldog wearing shoes.
Saw an english bulldog wearing shoes today. It’s tied for the best thing to happen to me all week— Rose Lavelle (@roselavelle) July 11, 2019
The elder Lavelle saying “I’ll see you later, Rose,” should absolutely melt everyone’s heart. The young Rose’s father said off-screen they thought they were giving their daughter a “super unique name.” According to the unofficial site How Many of Me, there are approximately 11 people named “Rose Lavelle” in the U.S. Rose is in the top 150 most popular first names while Lavelle is an extremely uncommon surname.
The U.S. soccer sensation was around the same age as the young Spirit fan when she dressed up as her idol, Mia Hamm, for a school book report. The team is and has long been admired by girls everywhere as well as young boys.
NWSL gains more attention, attendance
Women’s soccer fans are showing their appreciation and love of the game by showing up in sell-out numbers to watch the USWNT stars return back to their club teams.
The Spirit drew 5,500 fans at the Maryland SoccerPlex on Sunday, more than the 3,892 they drew on average last season.
That’s huge for a league that is still attempting to tap into the enthusiasm for women’s soccer that they know is there and market these USWNT stars who became household names.
The World Cup drew record viewership numbers around the world, including in the U.S. from the group stage to the final. The NWSL has been around longer than the two professional leagues that preceded it combined and wants to continue that. ESPN has invested in it, picking up games once a week, while Yahoo Sports also airs live games on digital. Budweiser also invested, becoming the first beer sponsor of the league. The key now is for fans to keep coming next season, a non-World Cup or Olympic year.
And to keep creating moments like Rose meeting Rose, which should be difficult.
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