Sydney Leroux is headed to Seattle and Kristie Mewis to the Breakers, near her home outside of Boston, in the biggest trade in the nearly year-old National Women’s Soccer League.
Leroux becomes the focal point of Seattle Reign FC’s attack in exchange for Mewis, goalkeeper Michelle Betos and Seattle’s first and second round picks in 2015 going to Boston.
Mewis was just acquired by Seattle in a trade that sent U.S. striker Amy Rodriguez, who missed the 2013 season while pregnant with her first child, to FC Kansas City. The intent of the Reign was always to send Mewis to Boston and acquire Leroux, thought the team says the moves were made independently and not as a three-way trade. Mewis is from Hanson, Mass., and expressed interest in returning home, while Leroux also desired to be back in the Pacific Northwest near where she grew up, near Vancouver.
“I truly enjoyed my time in Boston and have many great memories, but I had a strong desire to be closer to my family in the Pacific Northwest,” Leroux said in a statement. “While I am sad to leave the Breakers, I appreciate their accommodating of my request and wish everyone well.”
Both players’ contracts are subsidized by U.S. Soccer. Mewis’ was picked up by the federation mid-2013.
Contacted today, Reign FC coach and GM Laura Harvey says she will look to “build around (Leroux) up the spine of the team.” Leroux 11 goals in 19 games for Boston in 2013, including four game-winners.
“The way we play I think will suit her game,” Harvey said. “She was a game-changer for Boston – probably the difference between them finishing where we did and us where they did.”
Heather O’Reilly and Lianne Sanderson were the next leading scorers for Boston, with five goals apiece. Leroux’s 11 represent almost one-third of the Breakers’ 35 goals scored in 2013.
Mewis had one goal in 20 games for FC Kansas City in 2013, splitting time between left midfield and left fullback.
“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.”
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