[NWSL]U.S. national team star Sydney Leroux, who grew up in the Vancouver area, is returning to the Pacific Northwest to play for the Seattle Reign FC in the biggest trade in the NWSL's young history and one of several moves Seattle plans on making in its bid to become a title contender.
The Reign sent recently acquired Kristie Mewis, backup keeper Michelle Betosand two draft picks to the Boston Breakers for Leroux, who joins a team with Hope Soloand Megan Rapinoe that struggled for the first half of the 2013 season but shapes up to be a contender in 2014.
Leroux was tied for second place in the NWSL last season with 11 goals for Boston.
“This will be a big change for me, but one I am really excited about,” Leroux said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to getting the chance to play for [Seattle GM and head coach] Laura Harvey and be a part of what she’s building in Seattle. I truly enjoyed my time in Boston and I want to thank the Breakers fans for all their support. I have a lot of great memories from time with the club. Now I’m looking forward to being closer to my family in the Pacific Northwest.”
Mewis, who grew up in Hanson, Mass., 27 miles from Boston, is also going home. In her first season out of Boston College, she helped FC Kansas City make the playoffs and earned a spot on the national team. She was traded to Seattle in the offseason for draft picks.
Seattle quickly fell out of contention in 2013 as it lost Amy Rodriguez, who was pregnant with her first child, a son born in August. Rapinoe was playing in France with powerhouse Lyon and didn't arrive until midway through the NWSL season. Solo was sidelined after wrist surgery.
When Rapinoe and Solo came back, Seattle ran off a six-game unbeaten streak, but it was too late. It finished in seventh place in the eight-team NWSL with a 5-14-3 record, 18 points out of contention for a playoff berth.
Reign owner Bill Predmoresaid the Leroux deal was part of a comprehensive plan to reshape Seattle's roster.
“The trade for Sydney is a massive step in the right direction," he said in a statement, "but only one of several moves we intend to make before the start of the season. Our supporters should expect more good news in the days and weeks ahead.”