THE WILD CHILD
Sydney Leroux challenged her mother from the very beginning. Her mother remembers playing in a softball game, glancing toward the sideline and doing a double take; there was three-year-old “Syd,” climbing to the very top of a “hugely, hugely tall” fence. “It was absolutely terrifying,” recalls Sandi.
“I was wild,” says Leroux. “That’s really the best way to describe it; I had to be doing something, pushing buttons.”
In school, she always ended up in the front office. “I was a pretty bad kid,” she recalls. “I would get up when I was supposed to be sitting down. I was in my own world and no one could be a part of that but me. Recess would end, everyone else would come in, but in my head, it wasn’t time for me to come in yet. I’d still be out there kicking the ball.”
On the behavior report cards, Leroux would white out the teacher’s grade and replace it with a good grade. “It would be obvious, childish handwriting. But I’d give it to my mom, totally thinking I could trick her. Plus I got home before my mom, so I’d just go through the voicemail, erasing all the voicemails saying “Syd did this or that.”
SOCCER STEADYING GROUND
At fourteen, Leroux moved by herself to the United States. “Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to play for the United States and I knew that I could – because my dad was American. I saw all those big names in ‘99, and I thought it was so cool - that was what I wanted. I wanted to be known for being a soccer player and doing something that I love.”
In Arizona, she found a coach and a team that would make her better. But it’s not easy to be on your own at fourteen. She lived in three different houses trying to find one that fit; she missed her mom, and she had a hard time fitting in. “You know, at that age, girls are mean, they don’t take into account how you make people feel. It was terrible,” says Leroux. “Everyone already had their group of friends. I was an outsider, an outcast. There were people who made it better, but it was hard. I’d sleep to pass the days. I’d call my mom crying.”
The field was Sydney’s relief, soccer was my outlet; it was the only thing that made me sane. I just dove right in. I’d go to the boys practice. Then I would go to the ‘89 boys, ‘89 girls, practice with the ‘90s; sometimes three practices a day. Eventually I got the call for the National Team camp – and it was all worth it.”
“I was very much a tomboy,” says Leroux. “I went through a stage, more than a stage actually – it was like years. I wanted to be a boy, so badly.” She convinced her mom to let her cut her hair really short and told people her name was Christopher. Leroux’s mother says, “The school would call my house and say, ‘She’s saying she’s a boy,’ and I would say, ‘Nope, she’s a girl. She’s just going through a stage, let her be.’”“It’s just kind of funny because now, everyone sees me as this girly girl, but back then, I took tomboy to a whole new level,” says Leroux.
Full name is Sydney Leroux Dwyer … Nickname is “Syd”… Married to Major League Soccer star Dom Dwyer of Sporting Kansas City … Majored in history at UCLA and graduated in the Fall of 2012 … Gives much credit in her youth development to club coaches Chico Munoz and Les Armstrong … Loves animals and has a rather fierce Chihuahua named Boss who is eight pounds and an awesome pit bull named Koba … One of her main mentors is Kobe Bryant … Is an avid shopper … Has confessed that she has a “ridiculous” amount of clothes … Loves wearing heels, but admits she can’t walk in them very well … Always has her nails done … Says she would be a make-up artist/stylist if she wasn’t playing soccer … Mom is Canadian and played third base for the Canadian National Softball Team … Father is American and played Major League Baseball with the Anaheim Angels … Born and raised in Canada until she was 14 and moved to the United States with a goal of playing for the U.S. Women’s National Team … Loves music, vacationing and is a collector of inspirational quotes … Enjoys writing and fashion … Loves to make people laugh and loves all things funny … Favorite musical artists include Beyonce, Hozier, Vance Joy, J. Cole and Drake … Favorite TV shows are “Scandal,” “How to get Away with Murder,” “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” … Favorite candy is Swedish Fish … Favorite color is purple … Played Little League Baseball with boys from the ages of 5-14.
A dangerous attacking threat with pace, power and bravery to get to the ball first, Leroux first made waves in 2012 by scoring 14 goals, exclusively as a substitute … Will spend much of 2016 off the field as she is pregnant with her first child … 2015: A member of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup champions in her first World Cup at the senior level, she played 181 minutes in four matches, starting two … Had a vitally important assist in the opening match, setting up Christen Press for the game-winning goal in the 3-1 victory against Australia ... Played in 11 games this year, starting four and scored two goals with two assists ... Made her first start of 2015 against Mexico on May 17 in the USA's second Send-Off Series game and scored two goals in the 5-1 win ... Helped the USA to its 10th Algarve Cup title in Portugal … Had ankle surgery after the World Cup and did not play in a match for the rest of the year as she regained her fitness ... 2014: Appeared in 21 games and set career highs in games started (15), minutes played (1,308) and assists (5) … Scored nine goals, fourth-best on the team, finding the net against Canada (twice), Russia, Japan, Denmark, China PR, France, Mexico, and in the USA’s 6-0 win against Costa Rica in the final of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship as she helped the team book its ticket to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup … 2013: Made a major impact on the U.S. attack, scoring 10 goals (second on the team) with four assists … Averaged a goal for every 83 minutes she was on the field … She played 835 minutes in 15 games, starting nine, which were her first nine starts after coming off the bench in the first 29 games of her career … Scored four goals – all in the first half and all in a row – in a 7-0 victory against Mexico on Sept. 3 in Washington, D.C. … Also scored against Scotland, China PR, New Zealand and the game-clincher in a 3-0 win vs. Canada in Toronto on June 2 … Scored twice in the 4-1 victory against Brazil on Nov. 10 in Orlando that finished the year … Tied for third for most goals for club and country (21) of any American player … Headed into 2014 with 24 goals in her first 43 games … 2012: Had a breakout year, playing in 27 games, all as a reserve, and set a U.S. record for most goals as a substitute with 14, which were the first 14 of her career … Averaged a goal for every 37 minutes she was on the field … In her second career cap against Guatemala at CONCACAF Olympic qualifying, she scored the first five goals of her career, all in the second half, in her hometown of Vancouver, Canada … She was the youngest player on the Olympic qualifying team while playing in three games as the USA won the regional title … Made her first world championship team at the senior level for the 2012 Olympics and played off the bench in four games … Scored her first Olympic goal against New Zealand in the quarterfinal, sealing the 2-0 victory in Newcastle … Scored the winning goal against Norway in a 2-1 victory in group play at the Algarve Cup … Also scored against Denmark at the Algarve Cup … Had a two-goal game against Ireland on Nov. 28 during the Fan Tribute Tour … Tied for third among players for most goals combined for club and country with 21 … 2011: A prolific scorer with the U.S. Under-20 WNT, she earned her first cap with the senior team at the beginning of 2011 … Made the roster for the Four Nations Tournament in China in January and came off the bench late in the game in the first match of the tournament against Sweden … Youth National Teams: One of the most dangerous forwards in the world at the U-20 level, finished her U-20 career as one of the USA’s most-capped player (34) and for highest scorer at this level (29) … The USA’s all-time leading scorer in U-20 Women’s World Cups with 10 goals … Played in 18 international matches in 2010, including four at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, and scored 17 goals in those games … Scored against Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Mexico, Germany, England, New Zealand, Japan, Ghana, Switzerland and Korea Republic in 2010… Scored a hat trick against Switzerland at the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, just the third ever in a Women’s World Cup by a U.S. player … A member of the U.S. team that won the 2010 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship in Guatemala to earn a berth to the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, she scored the winning goal in the final minutes of the 1-0 victory against Mexico in the championship game … Started all five games in Guatemala and led the USA in scoring with six goals, scoring two each against Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago and two against Mexico, one in group play and one in the final … Also a key member of the U.S. team that won the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile … She became the first American since Carin Gabarra in 1991 to win the Golden Ball as the tournament’s top player at a FIFA Women’s World Cup … She also won the Golden Shoe as the tournament’s top scorer with five goals, including the first in the 2-1 championship game victory against Korea DPR … At the age of 14, she was a member of Canada’s team that played in the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in Thailand, where she was the youngest player in the tournament ...Got clearance from FIFA to change associations to the USA in 2008 and went on to star at the U-20 Women’s World Cup … First Appearance: Jan. 21, 2011, vs. Sweden … First Goal: Jan. 22, 2012, vs. Guatemala (5 goals).
2016: Traded to FC Kansas City (her husband Dom Dwyer plays for Sporting KC), along with Tiffany McCarty in exchange for forward Jessica McDonald, a 2016 and 2017 international roster slot and a 2017 second-round draft pick … Will miss the 2016 NWSL season due to pregnancy … 2015: Traded from the Seattle Reign to the Western New York Flash on March 30, along with Amanda Frisbee in exchange for midfielder Amber Brooks, the rights to forward Abby Wambach and a first-round pick in the 2016 NWSL College Draft … Played just 369 minutes in three starts for the Western New York Flash before the World Cup, and did not play another NWSL match after having ankle surgery after the World Cup … Scored one goal … 2014: Played in 22 games for the Seattle Reign, starting 21 and played 1,873 minutes … Scored five goals, four of them game-winners, to help Seattle to a 16-2-6 overall record, the league title, the No.1 seed in the NSWL playoffs and a berth in the championship game … 2013: On Nov. 18, she was traded to Seattle Reign FC for midfielder Kristie Mewis, goalkeeper Michelle Betos and two 2015 draft picks … Allocated to the Boston Breakers for the inaugural NWSL campaign and had a tremendous season, scoring 11 goals to finish tied for second with Abby Wambach … She played 1,694 minutes while starting all 18 games in which she played … Finished fifth in the league in shots (62), but just three behind second-place Megan Rapinoe … Named to the NWSL Best XI … 2012: Taken with the first pick in the 2012 WPS Draft by the Atlanta Beat, but never played after the league ceased operations … 2011: Played with the W-League Vancouver Whitecaps in her hometown during the summer, scoring 11 goals in 11 games with two assists … Youth Club: Won provincials three years in a row with the Coquitlam City Wild, where she played from U-14s through U-16s … The Wild won the national championship in 2004, where she had two four-goal games and more than 11 goals in the four-game tournament ... Youngest player to play for the Vancouver Whitecaps Club in the W-League at the age of 15 ... Won a championship with Team BC at the Canada Games in 2005 where she scored in the final ... Member of three state cup-winning teams in the United States, helping Eastside (Seattle, Wash.) to a title in 2006 before moving to Arizona where she played for Sereno in 2007 and 2008.