AUCKLAND, New Zealand — US women’s national team stars Rose Lavelle and Megan Rapinoe will have their minutes of action ahead of the start of the Women’s World Cup while Julie Ertz is fully fit, US coach Vlatko Andonovski said on Friday.
“Rose has actually been really good – she’s been training with the team for a good three weeks now and with us before that,” said Andonovski. “She’s ready to play and we’re not going to force too many minutes from the start. We will make everything more relaxed if it goes on.”
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He added: “Juliet is 100% happy with minute management, while Megan is in the same boat as Rose. Your minutes will likely increase as the tournament progresses.”
All three players missed the USWNT’s July 9 farewell game. Andonovski said at the time Ertz was ahead of Lavelle and Rapinoe, who were in the “build-up” phase.
“They are healthy, they are medically safe and now it’s just a matter of preparing them physically for minutes of the game,” Andonovski said on July 9.
Andonovski echoed the same sentiment on Friday, telling reporters, “They’re ready to play — everyone’s available medically.”
Lavelle injured her knee in a friendly against Ireland on 9 April and Andonovski described it as “a small blow” at the time and kept her away from a friendly three days later as a “precautionary measure”. However, she has not played for either club or country since then.
Rapinoe has been out since June 10 with a calf injury sustained playing with her club OL Reign.
The USWNT opens their Women’s World Cup against Vietnam on Saturday (Friday, 9pm ET in the US) at Eden Park Stadium. Although some players had limited minutes, Andonovski said: “Everyone is healthy and ready to play.”