'I'm ready to go' - USWNT midfielder Lavelle declares herself fit for World Cup final

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The U.S. star suffered a hamstring injury in the semifinal, but appears set to face Netherlands on Sunday in Lyon

U.S. women’s national team midfielder Rose Lavelle has declared herself fit ahead of Sunday's World Cup final against Netherlands

Lavelle was removed in the 65th minute of the USWNT’s 2-1 semifinal win over England on Tuesday, as she went down holding her hamstring.

The injury led to fears that Lavelle could miss the final but, on Friday, the midfielder said she would be ready for the showpiece on Sunday in Lyon.

“I’m good, I’m ready to go,” Lavelle said, before insisting that her substitution against England was more precautionary than anything. 

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

There was some added concern due to the location of Lavelle’s injury, with the 24-year-old having struggled with hamstring problems in the past. 

Lavelle missed the better portion of a year between the summer of 2017 and the summer of 2018 with a recurring hamstring injury, only returning to the USWNT ahead of World Cup qualifying last fall. 

Lavelle admitted that after a yearlong ordeal that saw her suffer multiple setbacks, she does have extra concern over any potential hamstring injury. 

“It’s something that I’m always paranoid about but I’ll be fine,” Lavelle said. “I can get over it.”

The U.S. and Netherlands have both won all six of their games at the World Cup, with the Dutch having defeated Sweden 1-0 in extra time in the semifinal to advance to their first World Cup final in just their second appearance at the tournament. 

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Though the USWNT are strongly favored to repeat as World Cup winners, Lavelle is expecting a difficult game on Sunday against the European champions.

“Netherlands is a great team and they are at the top of their game right now,” Lavelle said. “We don’t take them lightly at all. I think it’s going to be tooth-and-nail, a close game.”

With a win on Sunday, the U.S. will clinch their fourth World Cup in eight tournaments since the inaugural edition in 1991. Only one other team, Germany, has won more than one World Cup. 

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