Sydney Leroux had a tough 2023. With multiple injuries limiting her playing time for her club team Angel City FC, this offseason was crucial for her to feel ready and rested both in body and in mind.
“I don’t feel like there is even an offseason anymore - you get a month off and you’re back,” Leroux told AllForXI. “I needed an offseason to take some time [to rest]. That was really important for me. Now I’m ramping up!”
With National Women’s Soccer League preseason camps starting this week, Leroux is confident that Angel City can build off of last season’s success, which ended in a 5-1 thrashing of the Portland Thorns in their final regular season game and a fifth place finish in the NWSL table.
“I think we’re still looking to get a couple more pieces in here but I think [offseason moves] have gone well and I’m really excited,” she said. “I don’t think anyone expected us to be in the postseason at all, and then in that last final game, we were like, you know what, here we are. We had been waiting for that. We build off that and we go into the season knowing what we’re capable of.”
In the second half of the season, Angel City only lost one game, securing the team’s first-ever postseason appearance. For Leroux, the success was due in part to interim head coach Becki Tweed. Tweed will head into the 2024 season without the interim tag and a full season to work her magic with the Los Angeles side.
“There was no way that she couldn’t have gotten the head coaching job after what she did,” Leroux said. “We were all very excited and I feel so much confidence in her, and I think she feels confidence in us.”
That mutual confidence and trust were what allowed Angel City to turn it all around, find a groove, and show the league exactly what this team could do.
“I think for a little bit we didn’t really know [what we were capable of],” Leroux said. “It’s hard, having a new team and just trying to figure everything out, but we were able to do that and I feel confident looking forward to this year.”
As Leroux prepares for the 2024 NWSL season, she feels healthy and ready to go. Her positive mindset this season is supported by her partnership with Philips Sonicare. Dedicating two minutes in the morning and at night to taking care of her oral health has helped instill a sense of routine in her day which is pivotal to both her personal and professional life.
“I partnered with Philips Sonicare to help inspire people to establish their own health routines,” Leroux explained. “The impact that oral health has on your overall health is super important, and in the New Year, one of my goals was to make time for simple daily wellness routines, like brushing my teeth for two minutes using my Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100.”
For Leroux, starting and ending her day with routine helps her feel accomplished and ready to take on whatever’s next.
“When I have routine that’s when I’m at my best, and when I kind of go away from that everything is all over the place and I’m just trying to play catch up,” Leroux said.
Whether spending time with her kids or finding time for her new Pilates obsession, taking stock of the little moments in her life continues to be a top priority for Leroux as she enters her 12th year in the NWSL, a milestone that is not lost on her.
“You remember back in the day when we were on YouTube and playing on high school football fields with a million lines and now I’m playing at BMO stadium with 25,000 people in the stands,” Leroux said. “Being one of the OGs still left, we talk about that all the time. It’s just been amazing to see this league grow. There’s been a lot of things that have happened, both negative and positive, and we’ve still got a ways to go, but we’re getting there.”