NWSL's Orlando Pride signs Sydney Leroux to 3-year max deal

Veteran forward Sydney Leroux has signed a three-year max deal to remain with the Orlando Pride of the National Women's Soccer League, it was announced Wednesday.

"Being a mom of two and a woman, I think we can do it all. And I hope that I've proved that to girls and women and moms every single day,'' Leroux said. "I think that I still have so much more to give. And I think if you were on the field with me, you would say the same. So, no, I've not really thought of retiring. I enjoy having my kids see what their mom can do and see their mom chase her dreams, still.''

The contract with Orlando has an option for an additional year.

Now 30, Leroux has played in the NWSL since its inaugural season in 2013, first with the now-defunct Boston Breakers. She's been with Orlando since 2018, and she has also had stints with the Seattle Reign, the Western New York Flash and FC Kansas City.

She was also on the U.S. national team that won the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada, as well as the 2012 team that won the gold medal at the London Olympics.

"I think it's easy for a coach, especially when the player signs, to be overly enthusiastic because there may be a need to do that, but this is absolutely genuine: What you get with Sydney is everything,'' Pride coach Marc Skinner said. "It's the grit, the guile, the determination -- and that's just the mentality side.''

The team recently opened training camp for the league's upcoming ninth season. The NWSL will play a preseason Challenge Cup tournament in local markets before the start of the regular season on May 15.

The NWSL suspended the season before it started last year due to the pandemic, and the Pride had to withdraw from the league's Challenge Cup tournament in Utah last summer after a number of positive COVID-19 tests.

Orlando was able to play in the league's limited fall series. Leroux had eight shots, including five shots on goal, and a goal in the team's four games.

"I don't want Sydney to return to what she was. I want her to be better and a better version of herself because she's more mature. The life experience she has is vast. So I am genuinely excited," Skinner said. "I love Sydney to bits and I think that she's a super positive impact on the team, not only from a playing perspective, but also from her as a person."

The Pride's roster also features Alex Morgan, Brazilian legend Marta, defender Ali Krieger and goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris.