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NWSL: Pregnant Sydney Leroux pauses as it starts

7 months pregnant Sydney Leroux pauses as Orlando Pride start 2019 NWSL season

April 13, 2019 By Angela Asante
The 2019 National Women’s Soccer League kicks off this Saturday.

The 2019 NWSL commences today with North Carolina Courage taking on Chicago Red Stars and Washington Spirit facing Sky Blue simultaneously at 16:00 PT/19:00 ET/23:00 GMT. Meanwhile, 2017 NWSL playoffs semi-finalists Orlando Pride will begin their campaign at home to Portland Thorns on Sunday at 14:00 PT/17:00 ET/21:00 GMT.

However, coach Marc Skinner will not be able to count on the services of number 2 forward Sydney Leroux, who was her team’s topscorer with six goals in the 2018 regular National Women’s Soccer League season. 

Taking to Instagram the night before the start of this year's edition of the championship, the 28-year-old mother announced with a picture proudly revealing her 7-month baby bump and holding her son, Cassius Cruz Dwyer with one arm:

"Going to miss being out on the field with my girls! Until then, we’ll be cheering hard and we'll be back real soon... just with another crazy kid!" 

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A post shared by Sydney Leroux Dwyer (@sydneyleroux) on

Last October, during "Pregnancy & Infant Loss awareness month", the mother-of-one revealed being among the "1 in 4" statistic of women who go through the misery of losing a child.

"A couple of months ago, I lost a baby," the Orlando Pride player -- who was actually sidelined for most of the month of August 2018 -- revealed to her 2M+ Twitter followers.

"So in the later half of the season when I was out 'sick', I was losing our baby. I hate that I couldn’t talk about it. I hate that I felt like I couldn’t because there was a sense of shame and embarrassment that came with losing a baby," part of her statement on Pregnancy & Infant Loss awareness read.

In early March 2019, the National Women’s Soccer League star attacker shocked social media as she tweeted pictures of herself kicking a ball, noting:

"I didn’t think I’d be starting off preseason 5.5 months pregnant but here we are,” before adding:

"I just do non-contact stuff. Ball work. Getting touches in. I don’t put myself in situations where the ball can ricochet or I can get hit. No high intensity running and I listen to my OB (who knows more than people on Twitter telling me what I shouldn’t be doing with MY body)."

With the mixed reaction that expectedly ensued, Manchester City midfielder Kyle Walker was among the men who symbolically supported Sydney’s daring move.

"And I thought playing with cramp was hard… Respect Sydney!" the Three Lions right-back replied with a photo of him injured on a pitch.

Other athletes such as Turkey’s 31-year-old volleyball star Bahar Toksoy and professional golfer Paige Mackenzie also revealed playing sports whilst being 4 months and 7 months pregnant respectively.

Canadian-born Leroux was a key member in the star-studded USWNT side that conquered Canada to clinch the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Due to her maternity, however, she has not been called up for the U.S. National Women’s Team since the 2017 Tournament of Nations in which the Americans finished second behind eventual winners Australia. She will be cheering on the world defending champions throughout their adventure at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, this summer.

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