One of America’s top women soccer players has become a world-wide Twitter sensation and hailed a “super mom” after returning to preseason training nearly six months pregnant.
Canadian-born Sydney Leroux, 28, known as “Syd the Kid”, has won Olympic gold and the 2015 Women’s World Cup with the US national team — and has over 2 million followers on Twitter.
The Pride star forward shared photos of herself Monday on social media showing her doing drills on the field in Orlando.
“I didn’t think I’d be starting off preseason 5.5 months pregnant but here we are,” Leroux wrote.
Leroux, who is expecting her second child less than a year after suffering a heartbreaking miscarriage, already has a son, Cassius, with husband Dom Dwyer, who plays for Orlando City and the US men’s national team.
There was also a sadly predictable backlash, which Leroux decided to address.
“I have yet to respond to some of you ignorant people … 99 per cent of those that have criticised my ‘training’ have been men,” she wrote in a later tweet.
“Until you push a baby out of your vagina you need to sit this one out. I don’t play for the money honey, I play because it brings me joy.”
“I just do non contact stuff. Ball work. Getting touches in. I don’t put myself in situations where the ball can ricochet or I can get hit,” Leroux wrote.
“No high intensity running and I listen to my OB (who knows more than people on twitter telling me what I shouldn’t be doing with MY body).”
Other athletes responded with photos of themselves practicing or competing while pregnant, including former pro golfer Paige Mackenzie and volleyballer Bahar Toksoy Guidetti.
Leroux’s USA and Pride teammate Alex Morgan said she was “Proud to be your teammate, Syd.”
“Can’t wait to get on the field with you.”
Leroux plays alongside Matildas stars Alanna Kennedy and Emily van Egmond at the Pride — both are currently in Australia to compete in the Cup of Nations.