Keith Thurman (R) and Luis Collazo fight during their Premier Boxing Champions boxing match for the WBA Welterweight title on ESPN at the USF Sun Dome, on Saturday, July 11, 2015 in Tampa, Florida. Thurman won the bout when the corner of Collazo stopped the fight at the beginning of the eighth round. (AP Photo/Alex Menendez)
Orlando Pride Acquires U.S. National Team Forward Sydney Leroux
Pride receive rights to World Cup Champion in trade with Utah Royals FC
ORLANDO, Fla. (February 2, 2018) - Orlando Pride has added another Women's World Cup Champion to its roster, acquiring the rights to U.S. Women’s National Team forward Sydney Leroux in a trade with Utah Royals FC. In exchange, Utah receives a first-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft, which was acquired from Seattle Reign FC on Tuesday afternoon.
“We’re very happy we were able to bring Sydney to Orlando,” General Manager Niki Budalic said. “She’s a dynamic striker that will bring pace and goal-scoring ability to our group. Her physicality and personality will complement our roster and club and look forward to having her with us."
Leroux, 27, previously was a member of the former FC Kansas City in 2016 and 2017, with her rights transferred to Utah following the team’s addition to the league. Last season Leroux led Kansas City, scoring six goals in 23 appearances, while also adding two assists. Leroux missed the 2016 season due to pregnancy.
Prior to FC Kansas City, Leroux played briefly for Western New York Flash, appearing in three matches to begin the season before joining the U.S. WNT en route to its 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup championship run. In 2014, Leroux played in all 22 matches and scored five goals as a member of Seattle Reign FC, helping the team to the NWSL Shield.
Leroux was allocated to the Boston Breakers for the inaugural NWSL season in 2013, in which she scored a league-leading 11 goals and earned a nomination for NWSL Rookie of the Year and a spot on the NWSL Best XI. Leroux’s 11 goals mark the most goals scored in a season by any Breaker during the NWSL era.
“I’m delighted to bring a player of Sydney’s caliber and pedigree to the Pride,” Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “Sydney has a great work ethic, strong footballing skills and a wonderful personality that I know will fit in well with the team culture here in Orlando. We’re excited to add her to our already potent offensive force.”
Internationally, Leroux has been a crucial member of the U.S. WNT, appearing in every major tournament since 2012, with the exemption of the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Leroux has been a reoccurring force for the American attack since her debut in 2011, scoring 35 goals in 75 appearances, which is currently tied with April Heinrichs for 14th all-time in goals scored for the red, white and blue.
During the United States’ campaign to qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, Leroux scored nine goals, fourth-best on the team, and later went on to appear in four matches during the World Cup tournament.
In addition to her career marks at the club level in 2013, Leroux had a strong year for the U.S. WNT as well. Despite the lack of a major tournament, Leroux still made a major impact for the United States, scoring 10 goals - including a four-goal output on Sept. 3 against Mexico - while averaging a goal every 83 minutes of playing time. The year prior was a breakout season for Leroux, appearing in 27 games and scoring 14 goals - all of which came as a substitute, a U.S. WNT record for consecutive goals scored as a reserve player. Leroux earned her first cap with the U.S. WNT on Jan. 21, 2011 against Sweden.
Prior to her call-up to the senior national team, Leroux was a prolific member of the U.S. U-20 team, scoring the championship-winning goal in the USA’s 1-0 win over Mexico in the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. Born in British Columbia, Canada, Leroux started her youth national team career with Canada before transitioning to the United States youth program at the age of 16.
Leroux graduated from University of California, Los Angeles where she received First-Team NSCAA All-America, Soccer America's MVP First Team and First-Team NSCAA All-Pacific Region accolades. She was also a two-time semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy Player of the Year Award in 2009 and 2011.