When Sydney Leroux subbed on for Marisa Viggiano in the 86th minute of the Orlando Pride’s 1-1 draw against Sky Blue FC on Sunday, those few minutes on the pitch were special for the former.

Leroux had not played soccer since Septemeber 2018. The crowd of 8,314 in New Jersey's Red Bull Arena during the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) match got on their feet to cheer for Leroux, who gave birth to her second child just three months ago.

The Olympic gold and World Cup winner had been training with the team since late March this year when she was five-month pregnant. Leroux returned to training less than a month after giving birth.

Sydney Leroux
Sydney Leroux returns to play just three months after giving birth to her second child. Reuters

After the match ended on Sunday, Pride's goalkeeper, Ashlyn Harris, acknowledged Leroux's achievement. In no time, the latter got emotional as she stood fighting her tears with her face covered with one hand. Her toddler Roux was then brought to the emotional mother on the pitch, a moment Leroux could cherish for a very long time.

“I love this game. This past year was filled with so many ups and downs but I made a promise to myself that I would come back. No matter how hard that would be. It’s been a long road but I did it. 3 months and one day after I gave birth to my baby girl," Leroux wrote on Instagram.

The Pride boss, Marc Skinner, revealed how the entire team got along to help Leroux through the New Jersey game. The players took turns to hold Roux during the flight. During the half-time of the match, Leroux fed her daughter while discussing the strategy with her teammates.

“It brings a unique situation and it really creates a bond. The players all love to hold Roux and look after her when [Leroux] needs that little bit of time. It shows just how much it means," Skinner added.

Leroux, who has not played for the U.S. national football team since the 2015 World Cup also has a three-year-old son, Cassius, with her husband Dom Dwyer, who is a regular face in the U.S. national men's football team.