The Orlando Pride added another star to its vaunted attack, trading a 2019 first-round draft pick to the new Utah Royals for the rights to U.S. women's national team forward Sydney Leroux.
Leroux joins the likes of Alex Morgan and Marta in the Pride's stable of strikers and is reunited with coach Tom Sermanni, who used to manage the U.S. women.
The trade is just the latest acquisition involving major names in NWSL, with Carli Lloyd, Sam Kerr, Christen Press and Janine Beckie all part of a three-team deal involving Sky Blue FC, the Houston Dash and Chicago Red Stars, while U.S. women's attackers Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit) and Savannah McCaskill (Sky Blue) were part of the dispersal draft following the folding of the Boston Breakers. In a prior move, the North Carolina Courage acquired the rights to U.S. forward Crystal Dunn in a deal with the Spirit, sending Taylor Smith and Ashley Hatch to the nation's capital.
For Leroux, the move allows for a reuniting of her family, with husband Dom Dwyer recently signing a long-term deal with Orlando City in MLS. Both previously played in Kansas City, Leroux for FC Kansas City and Dwyer for Sporting Kansas City. The Utah Royals retained Leroux's rights following the closure of FCKC, but she did not sign on with the new Real Salt Lake-run club.
Last season, Leroux scored five goals and had two assists for FCKC.
The Pride will be hoping to build on last season's semifinal finish, where it fell to the eventual champion Portland Thorns.