The Orlando Pride announced Wednesday that the club re-signed forward Sydney Leroux to a three-year contract with an option for an additional year.
The length of the deal is one of the longest the Pride have ever given to a player, showing commitment from both Leroux and the team.
“I was really, really excited to to get back into play for Marc and to play with the rookies and to play with my old teammates again after coming back from another baby,” Leroux said in a Zoom call Wednesday afternoon. “Not getting that chance and not getting that opportunity fully, I just felt like I needed to stay here and I needed to see see it out, because I feel like, right now, in this moment, this is where I need to be for my career.”
“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.”
During Wednesday’s media availability, Head Coach Marc Skinner spoke on the importance of having Leroux back in the team.
“What you get with Sydney is everything,” Skinner said. “It’s the grit, the guile, the determination, and that’s just the mentality side. She brings a whole person to a player and what also she has is truly world class abilities, and since I’ve been here I’ve never really been able to unlock that. She gave birth to Roux, while we were here and then from that position we got our back and then she played three games in the fall series last year, but we started to see little bits of Sydney and the new Sydney.”
“I don’t want Sydney to return to what she was, I want her to be better, and a better version of herself as she’s more mature, the life experience she has is vast. So I am genuinely excited. I love Sydney to bits and I think that she’s a super positive impact on the team, not only from a player perspective, but also from her person.”
Skinner also added: “The youngsters gel to her, the senior players gel to her. She’s a real gelling factor for everyone and I am genuinely ecstatic that we’ve managed to look at a max deal which shows almost the direction and commitment from the club to actually drive where we want to be and where we wanted to be for the last two seasons so it’s a wonderful, wonderful moment.”
With Leroux now culminating her comeback and locking into the club long term, she mentioned how important it was to sign on long term with the club’s support staff in place, specifically Marc Skinner.
“You are an athlete and a lot of it is all on your plate, but I also think it really helps to have people in your corner, and (Marc’s) always been in my corner,” said Leroux. “He’s always believed in me and he’s always made me feel that I’m not even at my peak yet and he’s gonna get me there and I actually believe that that’s going to be the case.”
Leroux now signs back with the Pride having made 26 appearances with the team, scoring seven goal over the last 3 years. Last year during the four games the Pride played, Leroux scored once in their match against the Houston Dash.
Now, the Pride have re-signed Leroux, Marta and now have Alex Morgan back from loan heading into the 2021 NWSL season, which is set to start April 9th with the second rendition of the NWSL Challenge Cup.
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