Leroux prepared for stormy World Cup reception in Canada

Sun Jun 7, 2015 1:55pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

(Reuters) - Sydney Leroux, the Canadian-born striker on the U.S. national soccer team, has been jeered in her native country before but vows not to let that distract her at the Women's World Cup.

"That’s a pretty crazy story. To come into Canada, see my friends and family and be wearing an American jersey," she told reporters recently at a media day for the women's team, which begins play on Monday against Australia in Winnipeg.

"That’s obviously going to be emotional but I wouldn’t change it for the world."

Leroux, a high-profile U.S. team member who has graced the cover of ESPN the Magazine's Body issue in a nude athletic pose, is prepared for a stormy reception.

She left Canada to live in Arizona at age 15 and has been booed by Canadian crowds at previous U.S. matches and hit by stinging criticism in social media that included racial insults.

"I have an amazing bubble with my team and U.S. soccer and the support we have in the U.S., my friends, my family," said Leroux. "You can’t break that.

"No matter what’s being said about me, I’m in a really good place," said 25-year-old Leroux, who six months ago married MLS striker Dom Dwyer of England.

Leroux took advantage of her dual citizenship as her father, an American, pitched in Major League Baseball, while her mother, who raised her, played for the Canadian national softball team.   Continued...

May 30, 2015; Harrison, NJ, USA; USA forward Sydney Leroux (2) takes a shot past Korea defender Kim Doyeon (19) during the second half at Red Bull Arena. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports