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Sydney Leroux joins Angel City FC in blockbuster trade with Orlando

Sydney Leroux of the Orlando Pride battles for a loose ball at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles. (Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Angel City FC and the Orlando Pride agreed to a trade Wednesday that sends forward Sydney Leroux to Los Angeles in exchange for draft picks and allocation money.

In return for Leroux, the Pride receive ACFC’s natural first round pick in the 2024 NWSL Draft and $75,000 in allocation money. Additional performance-based incentives could also see the Pride receive $10,000 in allocation money in 2022 and an additional $10,000 in 2023.

“Sydney gave all she could for the Club every time she pulled on the jersey. We want to thank her for everything she has done for both our team and our community,” Orlando Pride general manager Ian Fleming said. “We’ll miss having Sydney and her family here in Orlando, but we believe this trade is best for all parties. We wish Syd the best of luck in this next chapter.”

Leroux joined Orlando in 2018 following a trade with the Utah Royals. In five seasons with the Pride, she’s made 63 appearances and tallied 18 goals.

“I’d like to thank the Club, the fans and the community for embracing me and my family over the past five seasons,” Leroux said. “We had many exciting memories and moments throughout my time here, and I always will remember my time in Orlando fondly.”

The forward has been a member of the NWSL since 2013, when she played for the Boston Breakers during the league’s inaugural season. Since then, she’s played with the Reign, the Western New York Flash and the Royals.

So far this season Leroux had two goals through seven appearances for Orlando, tying for first on the team with Mikayla Cluff. She led the team in goals last season with eight – three more than Alex Morgan, who is currently leading the league in goals with San Diego Wave FC.

Orlando has had a rocky start to the season, sitting 11th out of 12 teams in the league with a 2-5-2 record.

On June 7, coach Amanda Cromwell was placed on leave amid an investigation into “alleged retaliation in violation of the NWSL Policy to Prevent and Eliminate Workplace Discrimination, Harassment, and Bullying.”

On June 17, the team bought out Amy Turner, who joined the team last June from Manchester United.

For Angel City FC, the addition of Leroux comes as the team tries to recover its early season form. The club sits in the sixth and final playoff spot with a 4-4-1 record.

Christen Press had also been leading the attack before going down for the season with an ACL tear. Savannah McCaskill paces Angel City FC with two goals.

The Late Sub Podcast: Can the USWNT Medal?

The USWNT takes a silly face photo during their team Olympic photo shoot
The USWNT will begin their 2024 Olympic medal hunt on Thursday. (Brad Smith/ISI/Getty Images).

This week, JWS podcast host Claire Watkins discusses WNBA All-Star Weekend, which felt both like a celebration of the league's explosive growth over the past year and a way to set Team USA up for a particularly competitive Summer Olympics.

Later, Watkins previews the field for the upcoming Olympic soccer tournament, nominating her personal "Group of Death" and discussing whether or not the new-era USWNT could still reach medal contention despite their current rebuild under new head coach Emma Hayes.

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Team USA, Germany Play Pre-Olympic Exhibition Game in London

Team USA's 5x5 Basketball Team stands for the National Anthem before Saturday's WNBA All-Star Game
Team USA looks to rebound from Saturday's WNBA All-Star Game loss in an exhibition against Germany today. (Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)

USA Basketball's 5x5 team will tip off in an exhibition against Germany in London this afternoon, getting in one last tune-up before the Summer Olympics begin.

The US is hunting an eighth-straight gold medal this year, with group stage play starting on July 29th.

Team USA's Kahleah Copper, Alyssa Thomas, Kelsey Plum, and Sabrina Ionescu gear up to face Germany in pre-Olympic exhibition.
Team USA's Kahleah Copper, Alyssa Thomas, Kelsey Plum, and Sabrina Ionescu gear up to take on Germany in London. (Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)

US to use All-Star loss as fuel

Coming off the weekend's All-Star Game loss, the Olympians are ready to repeat history: They earned their Tokyo gold medal immediately after losing the first Team USA vs. Team WNBA All-Star Game back in 2021.

Breanna Stewart, who led Team USA with a 31-point, 10-rebound double-double on Saturday, said that the defeat "is going to help us tremendously. We don’t get that many game opportunities, [and now] we can go back and watch the film and focus on how we can continue to be better."

Today’s tilt against Germany will see the US work to lock in their defense, particularly in the paint. They'll also lean into their positional versatility before heading to Paris.

WNBA pro Satou Sabally leads Team Germany in today's pre-Olympic exhibition game against Team USA.
WNBA pro Satou Sabally helped Germany to their first-ever Olympic berth. (Axel Heimken/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Olympic debutants Germany enter first US clash

The exhibition marks the first-ever US-Germany linkup. The German team will make their Olympic debut in Paris after decades of failing to qualify for major international competitions. Their sixth-place 2023 EuroBasket finish sent them into February’s FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, where they punched their ticket to the 2024 Games.

Leading Germany's run was two-time WNBA All-Star Satou Sabally, who put up career-high averages in points, rebounds, assists, and steals with Dallas last season. Her 20-point, 11-rebound double-double was the difference-maker in Germany's must-win 73-71 Olympic qualifying victory over Brazil.

Other German players to watch include 2022 NY Liberty draft-pick — and Sabally's sister — Nyara Sabally, along with Liberty sharpshooter Leonie Fiebich.

Where to watch the Team USA vs. Germany game

Today’s exhibition tips off at 3 PM ET with live coverage on FS1.

1v1 With Kelley O’Hara: USWNT Star Jaedyn Shaw Is Expecting “Dubs All Around”

retired uswnt star kelley o'hara interviewing san diego wave and uswnt forward jaedyn shaw
'1v1' is back with Jaedyn Shaw joining Kelley O'Hara for a conversation about the upcoming Paris Olympics. (Just Women's Sports)

In the latest episode of Just Women's Sports' 1v1 With Kelley O'Hara, San Diego Wave and USWNT star Jaedyn Shaw joins two-time World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist Kelley O'Hara for a one-on-one conversation about the upcoming Paris Olympics.

We hear from the 19-year-old Wave FC phenom about her first impressions of new USWNT coach Emma Hayes, her experience with international competition at this point in her young career, and how she's preparing to take on the 2024 Summer Games.

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The 91st: Complete USWNT & Olympic Soccer Preview Featuring Jess McDonald

Logo for JWS USWNT Olympic show The 91st
The latest season of JWS' awarding-winning Olympics show 'The 91st' premieres today. (Just Women's Sports)

We're back! Hosts Jordan Angeli, Duda Pavao, and retired USWNT forward Jess McDonald deliver a full preview of this year's Olympic soccer tournament in Paris.

Watch for full analysis of USWNT manager Emma Hayes's coaching style, this team's shifting identity in this new USWNT era, and a projected starting XI for the team's group stage opener against Zambia. The 91st hosts also break down all three Olympic groups — including top players and teams to track throughout the tournament — plus give their predictions for the medal rounds and individual awards.

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