The USA's Honey Badger
So, you probably know about Baby Horse, the nickname given to U.S. forward Alex Morgan by her teammates in 2011 that has caught on with the fans and the Twitterati.
In the realm of animal nicknames, we think we might have another one for you. You see, Sydney Leroux is our Honey Badger.
Of course you probably have seen the viral video (who hasn't?) of what is perhaps nature's toughest animal and are aware that LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, who was a finalist for the 2011 Heisman Trophy, also took on the moniker during the last college football season for his fearlessness in making amazing plays and his hair, which is cropped and colored in a way that does in fact resemble the Honey Badger.
However, we present to you the reasons why Leroux is also a Honey Badger.
First, the hair. She recently dyed her hair (see above) so that the top is more golden (dare we say honey colored?) than the darker sides. When she has it up during training, that's Honey Badger hair.
Second, the fearlessness and tenacity. You see, Syd don't care. Syd is fearless. While she may not eat a cobra or dive head first into a nest of honey bees, she does the soccer equivalent of that. Sometimes she makes her own teammates cringe. Syd will throw her body into anything and any situation on the field to win the ball or score a goal. She often comes off the practice pitch with bloody knees.
The Honey Badger is also know for being thick-skinned and for its ferocious defensive abilities, just like Syd. Even as a forward, Syd loves to run down defenders and tackle. Raspberries and grass burns don't concern Syd.
Honey Badgers are tireless in combat and can wear out much larger animals (or in Syd's case, players) in physical confrontations. Syd is not that tall, but she is fast and strong and has no reservations about going to ground, just like a Honey Badger.
So, as Leroux has developed into her role as a late game attacking sub for the U.S. WNT, in the final 15-20 minutes of any game, beware of the Honey Badger wearing number 11.