Sydney Leroux to miss Olympic Games, announces pregnancy

Sydney Leroux and her husband Dom Dwyer have just made it official: They’re expecting their first child. The married couple announced via Instagram on Monday that the baby is due in September. Dwyer plays for Sporting Kansas City of the MLS, while Leroux had also just been traded to FC Kansas City of the NWSL.

Leroux’s announcement means the U.S. women’s national soccer team striker will miss action for most of 2016, including the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament Feb. 9-21 in Texas. The U.S. is a top seed along with Canada and is expected to earn a berth for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Surprise! My plans have changed for this summer. @Ddwyer14 and I are so excited to announce…

A photo posted by Sydney Leroux Dwyer (@sydneyleroux) on

It was not clear, however, that Leroux, who turns 26 in May and has 75 caps and 35 international goals, was a lock for an Olympic team roster spot, should the U.S. qualify. An ankle injury and rehab had pushed Leroux out of action for most of the past year. She saw very limited action in the 2015 Women’s World Cup, where she made appearances in four matches.

Leroux is the second national team player to announce a pregnancy since the U.S. women won the 2015 Women’s World Cup last July. Amy Rodriguez is also out of action this year as she is expecting her second child. The pair were also supposed to be teammates this season for FC Kansas City after NWSL defending champions traded for Leroux earlier this month.

The absence of Leroux further pushes the remaking of the U.S. women’s national soccer team into high gear. With the retirements of Abby Wambach, Shannon Boxx, Lori Chalupny and Lauren Holiday and surgery rehab for the injured Megan Rapinoe, U.S. coach Jill Ellis has already turned toward a fleet of new players to bolster the U.S. roster. Unlike the Women’s World Cup, which allowed qualifying teams to take 23 players to the tournament, the roster for the Rio Olympics can only have 18 players.

Leroux’s enforced absence from national team availability might make it easier for Ellis to now take a fresh look at players like Lindsey Horan, Samantha Mewis, Stephanie McCaffrey and teenager Mallory Pugh, who scored a goal in her U.S. women’s national team debut Saturday in San Diego against Ireland. With Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan looking to be the one-two punch at the top of the U.S. national team’s attack, and with Horan and Crystal Dunn ready to claim roster spots, Ellis has plenty of options at her disposal.