ACFC acquires ex-USWNTer Sydney Leroux in trade


Sydney Leroux is moving west to Angel City FC.

The Orlando Pride traded Leroux, who has been there since 2018, to the Expansion Club for ACFC’s natural first-round pick in the 2024 NWSL Draft, $75,000 in allotment funds and possibly more in the future. There is an additional $10,000 in award funds in 2022 and $10,000 in 2023 if the forward meets “certain performance-based criteria,” the ACFC said in a press release.

The move comes weeks after striker Christen Press picked up a season-ending knee injury. ACFC are near bottom of the NWSL with seven goals from nine games played, behind singles Alex Morgan (11) and Sophia Sith (8). Leroux has two and one assist.

Leroux returns to Los Angeles

ORLANDO, FL – MARCH 19: Orlando Pride’s Sydney Leroux #2 kicks the ball before a game between Washington Spirit and Orlando Pride at Exploria Stadium on March 19, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Jeremy Reper/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Leroux played collegiately at UCLA, where she led the team for three consecutive seasons and won the 2015 World Cup and 2012 Olympic gold medal with the USA women’s national team. She scored 35 international goals between 2011 and 2017 and led Pride as top scorer in both 2018 and 2021.

“I am so excited to be a part of Angel City and everything that is being built with this club,” Leroux said in a statement released by the team. “The atmosphere I felt playing in the banc [of California Stadium] on Mother’s Day was amazing. It really feels like coming home between UCLA and life in LA. Angel City is really putting women’s soccer on the map in Los Angeles and it shows that great things will happen when you invest in women. I am happy to be a part of it.”

The ACFC opened its inaugural season in April with a sell-out crowd of 22,000 at the Banc of California Stadium. Late last year, the club said it had sold 13,200 season tickets for the 2022 season, almost the average attendance for the league-leading Portland Thorns. That Club gives 1% of the home ticket revenue for the players.

ACFC expands the line-up of stars

The club’s ownership group is a game of “who’s who?” featuring former USWNT stars, celebrities, tech investors and women’s sports stars including Serena Williams, Candace Parker and their daughters.

“We are very pleased to welcome Sydney Leroux to Angel City,” said ACFC sporting director Eniola Aluko in a statement released by the team. “Sydney has valuable experience as an NWSL player which will be a great addition to the team. Sydney’s ability to score, her tenacity and her passion on the pitch will be exciting for our fans. We are also excited to add another mother of two wonderful children to our team and organization.”

Leroux is mother of son Cassius and daughter Roux. She lost weight for much of 2015 and 2016 while pregnant and again in 2019 when she was pregnant with Roux, who turned three on Tuesday. She returned to the court three months after giving birth.

Born in Canada, she was drafted into the Women’s Professional Soccer League in 2012 just before collapsing and joining the NWSL’s Boston Breakers in 2013. In 2014, she was traded to the Seattle Reign, where she won the Supporters Shield and played for Kansas City FC in 2017 before trading with the Pride in 2018.

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