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By CAITLIN MURRAY
Sydney Leroux is heading to play for Seattle Reign FC in the National Women’s Soccer League in exchange for Kristie Mewis, who will join her hometown Boston Breakers.
In addition to Mewis, Boston acquired goalkeeper Michelle Betos and Seattle’s first- and second-round selections in the 2015 NWSL college draft.
“This will be a big change for me, but one I am really excited about,” Leroux said in a Reign release. “I’m looking forward to getting the chance to play for Laura Harvey and be a part of what she’s building in Seattle.”
It’s easy to see why Seattle is interested in Canadian-born Leroux. At 23, she’s been a rising star for the U.S. Women’s National Team, scoring 24 goals in 43 caps for the full American squad. In the inaugural NWSL season this year, Leroux tallied 11 goals and two assists in 19 games for Boston, all starts.
“Sydney Leroux is one of the world’s best forwards,” said Harvey, Seattle’s coach and general manager. “She is a young, extraordinary talent with unlimited upside. Sydney will be the consistent goal-scoring threat that we struggled to find last season.”
Seattle ended the 2013 NWSL season with a dismal 5-14-3 record.
In Mewis, the Breakers likely see a positive branding boost in having her return to the area. Mewis is a native of Hanson, Mass., and a former star midfielder for Boston College. Mewis has one goal in nine caps for the U.S. national team and tallied one goal in 20 caps for FC Kansas City this season.
“I have been trying to get Kristie in a Breakers jersey since January,” Breakers general manager Lee Billiard said. “It has taken the better part of a year, but we have finally been able to bring Kristie back home. She is a fantastic player who has proven herself at the international level, and as a homegrown talent, will be able to connect with our fan base.”
Mewis had been traded last week from Kansas City to the Reign in exchange for forward Amy Rodriguez, but Harvey has made it clear she is making offseason moves in multiple steps and hinted more activity is on the way.
“After speaking with Sydney, it was clear she needed to be closer to home,” Billiard added. “It was tough for me to do, but I’m confident we got the best we could out of the trade.”