FC Kansas City and U.S. Women’s National Team forward Sydney Leroux is back to training. Leroux missed all of the 2016 season while pregnant with her and husband Dom Dwyer’s baby. Their son was born in September and Leroux is working hard to get back to playing shape.
Leroux started training with some of her FC Kansas City teammates and local trainers a couple weeks ago and it was not easy at first. “The first couple sessions were a little discouraging but I feel like I’ve gotten better every day and I’m starting to feel a little bit more like myself which is a really nice feeling. I am getting used to my body again, it went through a long ten months but I feel really good,” Sydney related after a training session this week.
The Blues acquired Leroux to cover for Amy Rodriguez missing the 2016 season while pregnant with her second child but was quickly without her services as well when it was discovered she was also expecting.
Working to come back
One thing in Leroux’s favor is she is not the first U.S. star to resume playing after giving birth. With team mate Amy Rodriguez having come back to not just play, but helping win a World Cup and two NWSL titles for FC Kansas City, Leroux has history on her side. There have been several other U.S. players to play at the international level as mothers in addition to Rodriguez. Most notable would be Christie Rampone, a mother of two that has stepped away from the international game finally but is still playing club level in her forties.
It used to be assumed that women could not come back and perform at high levels after giving birth. Not only do players like Rampone and Rodriguez show that it can be done but current research shows that women may perform better athletically after pregnancy.
Sydney did talk to her teammates and friends about making the journey back to playing. “They told me to take my time and that when I come back it’s going to be a little shocking,” Leroux explained.
Shocking was probably n understatement for the talented striker. Leroux was used to controlling the ball but the first practices back it was not going so well. “I was tripping over my feet, the ball was getting stuck underneath me, it just takes time. It’s nice having teammates and people that have gone through it before and were able to play again.”
Leroux stayed in good shape during her pregnancy, working out as much as possible and staying active. She even trained with FC Kansas City early in their season. When asked about trying to stay in shape, Sydney responded, “I did, I think that was easy.”
“Everyone was like you will have a better birth,” Leroux continued while laughing. “I had a very difficult birth so that was out of the question but I think it was good that I stayed healthy and stayed fit throughout my pregnancy.”