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NIKE SPORTSWEAR PRESENTS SYDNEY LEROUX

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"THIS IS WHERE THE US WON THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN 1999. THAT WAS A HUGE DAY FOR ME, AND I THINK FOR A LOT OF GIRLS."

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Sydney Leroux bounces a ball off her toes, heels, knees, thighs, head, and shoulders. It looks like it is attached to her. The sun shines down; another beautiful day in Pasadena, California. She felt a tinge of nostalgia. “This is where the US won the World Championships in 1999. That was a huge day for me, and I think for a lot of girls.” From Pasadena we headed west to the Honorable Society Tattoo Parlor. Victorian-style sofas filled the room. Framed oil paintings covered the walls. It seemed about the last place you’d expect to find a world-class athlete on a sunny Los Angeles afternoon. But Leroux was right at home. “I started getting tattoos at fourteen,” she said. “My last one was probably a year and a half ago.”

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Leroux flipped through artist’s portfolios, studied the illustrations on the walls. Then talk turned back to soccer. “I moved away when I was younger and I had this dream to play for the best team in the world. I got a chance to do that in London two summers ago, and prove to myself that everything I’d given up for this specific moment was worth it. And it was.” She said the best moment in her life was the goal she scored. “It was pretty simple, just a long ball over the top, and I kind of sprinted onto it, and I was looking to my right and I saw Abby [Wambach]. It was just me and the goalie and I was a little nervous, so I looked at Abby and Abby’s pointing like, Take the shot. I shot it and it kind of went underneath and went through her legs and dipped, and all I saw was the back of the net just kind of ripple with the ball hitting it. I’ll remember that forever.”

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TECH PONCHO Ripstop nylon with taped seams provides you with lightweight breathability.

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TAKE THE SHOT Sydney Leroux rocks the Tech Poncho while eagerly sharing memories of watching the women’s U.S. Team during the 1999 World Championships.

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