Rose Lavelle Talks USWNT’s ‘Growth’ Since 2023 World Cup as They Aim for Comeback at Paris Olympics (Exclusive)

Rose Lavelle has made a career out of reading defenses, but it’s her obsession with reading books that has her and her U

Published Time: 06.07.2024 - 17:31:10 Modified Time: 06.07.2024 - 17:31:10

Rose Lavelle has made a career out of reading defenses, but it’s her obsession with reading books that has her and her U.S. Women’s National Team teammates bonding off the field.

“We're always recommending books to each other,” Lavelle, 29, tells PEOPLE. “Whenever I see Naomi Girma or Emily Fox, I'm always like, ‘What are you reading right now?!’”Lavelle, who was selected to her second Olympic team last week, spoke with PEOPLE ahead of the 2024 Summer Olympics as part of her collaboration with Amazon’s Kindle. She, Girma, and Fox are among the USWNT players who are part of Lavelle’s book club — dubbed the “Kindle Crew” — who wind down during tournaments with books.

“I'm a ravenous book reader during tournaments,” Lavelle says, noting that she turns off social media during tournaments to help block the outside noise. “I just think it's such a nice way to kind of switch off and be detached from the world. I read everything: nonfiction, fiction, fantasy, romance, self help; I bounce around a lot. Whatever has a good recommendation, I'll read.”

Heading into the Paris Games, Lavelle is tearing through the third installment of Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series and already has a long list of books to get through over the next few weeks as the USWNT looks to avenge its early exit from last year’s World Cup and re-establish themselves as the world’s best.

“It's just such an exciting time for our team and we're really excited for what we can do,” Lavelle says. 

The USWNT is also heading into the Summer Olympics with a new head coach, Emma Hayes, who players recently got to know during their first training camps together last month.

“There was so much learning and growth in such a short time,” Lavelle says. “She's going to push this group in ways we didn't even know were possible, but it's going to be really, really great.”

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The Gotham FC star has been here before, though many of her USWNT teammates have not. Nine of the team’s 18 players will be making their Olympic debuts, including “Kindle Crew” members Girma, 24, and Fox, 25.

Lavelle is among six USWNT players who are playing in their second Olympics, having been part of the bronze medal-winning squad in 2020 under former head coach Vlatko Andonovski.

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Although it’s the first Olympics for more than half the team, Lavelle says last year’s World Cup experience will play a role in the team’s upcoming performance in Paris.

“I think having that first major tournament experience under your belt is huge,” the Cincinnati native says. “The new generation of players we have are so good. So I think just having even a little bit more experience is going to make them that much better than they already are. I'm excited to see what our team can do with not just a young group, but now a young and experienced group.”

The USWNT opens up the Olympics against Zambia on July 25, when Lavelle hopes to help Team USA climb its way back to the top of the soccer world. And when she's not on the field, Lavelle plans to stay holed up in the Olympic Village with a book, focusing on their next game.

"I really like having time to myself and having quiet time, so I get really excited to have a coffee and read," Lavelle says, looking forward to this month's Olympics. "It's truly when I'm in such peace and happiness."

To learn more about all the Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, visitTeamUSA.comand come topeople.comto check out ongoing coverage before, during and after the games. Watch the Paris Olympics and Paralympics, beginning July 26, on NBC and Peacock.

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