The Orlando Pride announced today that the club has re-signed forward Sydney Leroux to a three-year contract with an option for an additional year. The deal could keep Leroux on the Pride through the 2024 season. If the length of the contract seems long, that’s because it is. It’s the maximum deal available to NWSL teams and its players and seemingly few players are signed beyond two seasons.
“We’re thrilled to have Sydney continue to be an important part of the Pride family and greater Orlando community,” Orlando Pride General Manager Ian Fleming said in a club press release. “Her qualities on the field and as a person speak for themselves. Paired with her technical ability, Syd’s experience and leadership will push us toward success both now and as we build into the future. We believe the best is still to come for Sydney, and can’t wait to see her reach new heights in her career as a member of the Pride.”
“I’m excited to be here in Orlando now and for the future. I know what this Club is capable of and I’m ready to get to work,” Leroux said in the club release. “It’s really nice to feel valued by the club, my teammates, and the fans in Orlando. I’m extremely excited to continue to work with Marc and our staff and can’t wait to get a full season to prove myself.”
Leroux, 30, was acquired in February of 2018 from the Utah Royals in exchange for a first-round draft pick in 2019. She’ll turn 31 in May, which makes the length of the contract a bit more surprising.
The former USWNT star has made 26 appearances with the Pride since joining Orlando, scoring seven goals. She’s scored 30 NWSL goals in total across seven seasons in her career. With the USWNT, Leroux has 75 caps, scoring 35 goals and has a World Cup (2015) and an Olympic gold medal (2012) to her credit.
Last season, Leroux fired a team-high eight shots in her three NWSL Fall Series appearances, scoring once.
What it Means for Orlando
The Pride have as good a forward line as there is in the NWSL with Marta, Alex Morgan, and Leroux in the fold. It’s not the youngest group of attackers, but there’s plenty of experience and quality.
Signing Leroux means that the only unsigned players in the Pride’s preseason camp are non-roster invitees Erika Tymrak and Ally Haran.
As Leroux hasn’t been part of the USWNT player pool in recent years, she figures to remain on the squad during international tournaments, such as the Olympics later this year. The NWSL does not plan to break for the Olympics, which means Leroux’s presence will be important, as Morgan and Marta will likely be with their national teams during that time.
Leroux looked fit and motivated during the Pride’s Fall Series matches. If she can continue that trend, she should be able to return to form and provide a much-needed boost to the Orlando attack for the next few years.