US National Team forward Sydney Leroux was one of the many ex-Sounders Women players who Seattle soccer fans were hoping would be allocated to the Reign last year. Sadly, it didn't happen. But the Reign have remedied that, trading the just-acquired Kristie Mewis, backup keeper Michelle Betos, and two 2015 draft picks to Boston for the star striker, in the latest in a series of big offseason moves to transform the roster after a tough year one.
Leroux was tied for second in the league last season with 11 goals and instantly becomes an emphatic answer to the question of who could be the dangerous forward up front to lead Laura Harvey's 4-3-3. It also bring the BC native closer to home and adds some heft to the Portland/Seattle rivalry, with Leroux lining up opposite friend and USWNT teammate Alex Morgan.
The trade for Mewis was always a bit of a head-scratcher. . she's a very talented player, but left wing is definitely not where Seattle needed help, especially with Megan Rapinoe coming back in the middle of the season. So my guess would be that the Mewis deal was always made as a piece of this move to get Leroux. Harvey hinted at the time that moves were in the works to fill the vacuum at forward.
Betos filled in admirably for Hope Solo in the early season when the US keeper was out with a wrist injury. But as long as Solo is healthy she doesn't really have any prospects for playing time here. Boston split their goalkeeper time between Alyssa Naher and Ashley Phillips, so Betos likely has more of a shot to get a starting job there. I haven't heard yet exactly what picks were sent, but for Leroux I wouldn't be surprised if we effectively sent our entire 2015 draft.
It took a lot of interlocking moves to get here, but in the end we have an attack that consists of Leroux playing in front of Rapinoe (when she's back), Jess Fishlock, and Christine Nairn. And to me that sounds like an attack that's going to score a lot of goals and hopefully put the Reign back in contention for the playoffs next season.