Former 'Caps star Sydney Leroux goes 1st overall in 2012 WPS Draft

Surrey, BC, native goes to Atlanta Beat

Former Whitecaps FC women’s striker Sydney Leroux was today selected as the first overall pick in the 2012 Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) Draft, as part of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Convention in Kansas City, Kansas.

After returning for her second season with the ‘Caps last year, Leroux put in a memorable campaign that saw her finish tied for second in W-League regular season scoring with 11 goals and 24 points in 11 appearances, while also adding a goal in the Western Conference Final.  Her performance earned her 2011 W-League Rookie of the Year, while also being named to the All-Western Conference team.  The native of Surrey, BC, originally played for Whitecaps FC during the 2005 W-League season as the youngest player to ever play for the club at the senior level. The 5-foot-7 forward made her debut at 15 years and seven days in a season-opening 2-0 victory over Arizona Heatwave. She came on in the 82nd minute and assisted on the second goal of the match. She went on to play in three matches, recording two assists during her debut season.

“She is really, really fast; she is skilled; she makes very mature runs for her age, and she puts the ball in the back of the net,” said Beat head coach James Galanis “She was clearly always going to be our No. 1 pick.”

Internationally, Leroux appeared at youth international level for both Canada and the United States. She was the youngest player to appear at the 2004 U-19 Women’s World Championship when she made Canada’s roster as a 14-year-old. A dual citizen, Leroux later switched to play for the United States, where in 2008, she appeared for the Americans at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. Leroux helped the United States win the title in Chile, while earning the Golden Shoe as the tournament’s top scorer with five goals, and the Golden Ball as the tournament’s top player. Leroux is the most-capped player and highest goalscorer for the U.S. at the U-20 international level, netting 30 goals in 36 appearances. The young striker made her debut for the senior U.S. squad, coming on as a substitute against Sweden in the Four Nations Cup on January 21, 2011.

In collegiate play, Leroux powered the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Bruins attack in the NCAA from 2008 to 2011. She was the Bruins’ leading scorer for three consecutive seasons and finished with eight game-winners as a senior.  The fast-paced forward was a MAC Herman trophy semifinalist – awarded to the nation’s top collegiate player – as a sophomore and made the PAC-10 All-Freshman Team in 2008.

Leroux completed her collegiate campaign in the Bruins record books with the fourth most game-winning goals (23) and the fourth most all-time points (126). 

About Vancouver Whitecaps FC
In 1974, Vancouver Whitecaps FC played their inaugural season in the North American Soccer League, and in 1979, the club won the NASL Soccer Bowl championship. From 1987 to 1992, as a member of the Canadian Soccer League, Vancouver won four straight CSL titles. In 2002, Whitecaps FC created a full club model that encompasses professional teams for men and women, extensive youth development and grassroots participation programs, facility development, and the Whitecaps Foundation to support specific initiatives related to health and wellness through soccer. Since 2004, Whitecaps FC have won two United Soccer Leagues First Division championships and two USL W-League championships. In 2012, Whitecaps FC will begin their second season in Major League Soccer on Bell Pitch at BC Place Stadium in downtown Vancouver.