Orlando City SC has a new power couple.
Orlando Pride announced today it acquired forward Sydney Leroux from Utah Royals FC for a first-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft.
Leroux walked into Orlando City Stadium and soon after pulled on her new No. 2 jersey. Then, she dropped an oversized Orlando Pride snapback on her 1-year-old son, Cassius.
“Cassius loves Orlando,” said Leroux, who is married to Lions forward Dom Dwyer, on Orlando City SoccerCast. “He loves him some Mickey Mouse.”
Leroux was full of excitement as she toured her new home. For her, it’s more than being reunited with her husband. Leroux arrives in Orlando looking to continue the second crescendo of her career.
She burst onto the scene with the U.S. Women’s National Team in 2012, when she appeared in 27 games and scored 14 goals – all of them as a substitute, which set a U.S. WNT record for consecutive goals scored as a sub – and helped the U.S. win Gold at the London Olympics.
In 2013, Leroux led the NWSL, then in its first season, with 11 goals and was nominated for Rookie of the Year and earned a spot on the NWSL Best XI. She then helped Seattle Reign FC capture the NWSL Shield, and in 2015 Leroux and the U.S. were crowned World Cup Champions.
Then came Cassius.
Leroux sat out 2016 during her pregnancy. Seven months later and seven minutes into her return, Leroux scored a first-time turnaround rip from 18 yards out. It was an ideal start to 2017, and though she finished with just six goals and two assists, playing 23 games after giving birth is no small feat.
“For me, just getting back on track and getting to where I once was before a baby,” Leroux said when asked her personal goals. “Even towards the end of last season I was really starting to feel like myself.”
As Leroux regains the speed and power that have made her such a force for the national team, she’ll get to play alongside long-time strike partner Alex Morgan and world football legend Marta.
Leroux was at a loss for words and couldn’t help but smile when talking about her new teammates.
“I’ve been playing with Alex for a very long time, so I’m excited to play club with her again. And then of course, Marta, I mean, I’m very, very excited. Hopefully even more goals.”
Leroux is just the latest acquisition to bolster a Pride roster that looked downright dominant down the stretch and into the NWSL Playoffs last season. Aside from Morgan and Marta, returning to the Pride are Ashlyn Harris, Ali Krieger, Monica and, after a bit of rehab for her knee, Camila.
Throw Leroux in there with the rest of Tom Sermanni’s acquisitions and it’s a de facto All-Star team.
“I expect these next couple years to be my best soccer,” Leroux said. “I don’t even think I have to say it, but of course [the goal is] to win an NWSL Championship.”
There’s a lot that has to happen before that, though. For now, Leroux, Dwyer and little Cassius are just happy to put down roots in Orlando.
“It’s amazing to feel like you have a home and you’re at home base,” she said. “It’s a really nice feeling. We know that we’re going to be here for a while.”