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Sydney Leroux says ‘next year will be different’ for Orlando Pride


Sydney Leroux believes the Orlando Pride will return to contention next year after missing the playoffs for the third straight NWSL season.

The forward penned a message to Pride fans on social media Sunday, saying that she is “even more excited” for the future.

“My team became family to me this year and I am incredibly thankful for every one of them,” Leroux wrote. “To our amazing fans…thank you for all of your support.”

Leroux had a standout season for the Pride, scoring eight goals to lead her team and finish tied for third in the Golden Boot race. She was the first player in the league to reach eight goals before Ashley Hatch surpassed her to claim the Golden Boot honor with 10 goals.

Off the field, Leroux was going through some personal challenges. In August, Leroux and husband Dom Dwyer announced they would be separating after six years of marriage.

The Pride exceeded expectations to start the season, vaulting as high as third place in the standings. Ultimately, they finished in eighth with 28 points, two spots out of a postseason berth.

In July, Becky Burleigh took over the team following the departure of Marc Skinner. In August, Leroux called Burleigh a “breath of fresh air.” It was then announced in October that Burleigh would be parting ways with the team, which will continue the search for its next head coach.

“Next year will be different,” Leroux said. “I’m happy to be a part of what’s to come because this group is truly special!”