Midfielder Lavelle says she’ll play in Women’s World Cup final


PARIS: Midfielder Rose Lavelle pronounced herself ready to go on Saturday, one day before the United States will take on the Netherlands in the final of the Women’s World Cup at Lyon, France.

Lavelle, 24, left the semifinal game against England on Tuesday in the 65th minute with hamstring discomfort.

“I’m good,” Lavelle told reporters. “It’s something I’m always paranoid about, but I’ll be fine.”

Lavelle suffered a hamstring injury in mid-2017 that she described as three muscle tears. She had some setbacks in her recovery and missed nearly a year of action, and given her history, she said she was trying to take precautions on Tuesday.

“I just didn’t want to be a liability on the field because I do know that with muscles, anything can happen,” Lavelle said. “It was a little bit more precautionary.”

Forward Megan Rapinoe, who missed the semifinal against England with a strained hamstring sustained in the quarterfinal game against France, previously said she would play on Sunday.

The U.S. squad will have had four days of rest, one more than the Netherlands.

Their star midfielder, Lieke Martens, injured her toe against Japan in the Round of 16 when a teammate stepped on her foot. She played in the following two games but did not return after halftime in the side’s semifinal game against Sweden on Wednesday.

Martens, 26, said she hopes to play on Sunday.

“Of course. As a player you always want to play in one of the biggest games of your career and this is one of the biggest ones,” she said about the final.

“I am hopefully going to play. I am going to do the recovery and I really believe in the medical staff and that something can happen, so let’s see every single day, how it goes,” she said.