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5 Questions with Sydney Leroux And Her Equally Fierce Mom, Sandi

U.S. soccer star Sydney Leroux with her mom, Sandi, a former member of Canadian's national softball team. BODYARMOR/Sydney Leroux

Sydney Leroux is a beast. At least that's what her mom says.

On the pitch, Leroux plays with a certain animalistic style, as if her life depended on beating out a defender to the ball. She goes full force, willing to sacrifice her body for a competitive edge. Need proof? Just refer to a gnarly picture Leroux shared last year of her battered and bruised legs after playing on artificial turf (the same surface World Cup players will compete on this summer in Canada -- and one that has caused constant controversy). Although she knew the turf would tear up and bloody her legs, she refused to change her signature style of play.

But it turns out that exterior toughness belies a softer side. The "beast" also has the biggest heart, says her mom, Sandi.

Sandi Leroux was a fierce athlete in her own right. A member of the Canadian national softball team, Sandi eventually stepped away from the game to raise Sydney as a single mom. Now, as Sydney prepares to play in her first Women's World Cup next month, she is quick to point out that her rise to the U.S national team is a direct result of her mother's support. The pair shares an unbreakable bond that comes across when they talk about each other. We asked each of them the same five questions, and here's what they had to say.

Sydney Leroux:

Tell us about your mom.

My mom is very independent, very strong. I would say she's very confident in who she is as a person. She's definitely one of the best things in my life.

She's made me be able to follow my dreams, and I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for her.

What quality do you admire most in her?

Her independence.

What is the biggest lesson she has taught you?

To never lie.

What are three words you would use to describe your mom?

Loving, wild and confident.

If you could tell your mom anything, what would it be?

That, as a kid, she did everything to give me a better life than she had. And even though I'm grown up now, I'm 25 and I live on my own and have my own life, that no matter where I am, what's going in the world or what's going on in my world, she always has my heart and I know that I'll always have her love. I hope she knows that I love her more than anything in the world.

Sandi Leroux:

Tell us about your daughter.

Everyone sees this tough Sydney [on the outside], but inside she's got the biggest heart. She just wants to be the best she can be all the time and she works so hard. I'm proud of how she's turned out because she's had it tough and she's dealt with things really well.

What quality do you admire most in her?

That she never gives up.

What is the biggest lesson she has taught you?

She's taught me that, since she's an adult, I have to take a step back and talk to her like an adult. I still think I'm her mom and can tell her what to do sometimes, but I have to realize she's an adult. She's taught me to just listen to her.

What are three words you would use to describe your daughter?

Emotional, a beast and determined.

If you could tell your daughter anything, what would it be?

I want her to be happy, and whatever makes her happy, I'm happy.