Cyle Larin 21 Striker Orlando City Canada
Cyle Larin scored a goal on his first start in Major League Soccer in April 2015, had four goals to his name within his first eight appearances in the competition and has continued in a similar vein ever since.
Perhaps the most complete striker to ever enter the MLS SuperDraft when he was picked at number one in 2015 by Orlando City, his arrival in MLS has been a long time coming. A strong boy with plenty of pace, decent instincts and good timing around the box as well as the ability to score with both feet marked Larin out as a big prospect almost as soon as he began his college career in Connecticut.
Ahead of the 2014 season there was some talk that he’d sign with the league then, but he held on for another 12 months and despite international interest he joined up with Major League Soccer ahead of last season.
2016 has been…
So far that decision to spend another year in the college system looks like a smart one. He was able to continue his development away from the pressure of the senior game and ensure the club that picked him in 2015 had time to know exactly the player they were getting.
Larin won the Rookie of the Year award in 2015 thanks to a haul of 17 goals in 27 games. In 2016, he ignored the usual talk of a “sophomore slump” (“difficult second season” is how you might otherwise know that phrase) to follow that up with 14 goals in 29 and has been a really bright spot for the fledgling Orlando franchise.
This year has also seen Cyle start to bring others into play around him. There has been an upturn in the number of chances he has tried to lay on for others, and it’s a clear sign he is looking to improve his all-round game. There aren’t many teams left in world football that allow their main striker to be just a poacher and Larin’s growth is an obvious sign of the young striker knowing he needs to have an all-round skill set.
Were he American, we expect there would be a lot more hyperbole going on around Cyle Larin.
Though the lack of hype and excitement isn’t a bad thing. Given the way that the career of child prodigy Freddy Adu has gone – himself a former number one pick in the MLS SuperDraft – the ability for Cyle to develop as a player away from the limelight of an expectant/hopeful giant of world soccer means he has every chance to eventually become the best player that he can.
That won’t happen in North America however. Thanks to his 31 MLS goals in the last two seasons, Orlando City and the league are set to be inundated with offers for his services. There is a very real chance that any price agreed for Larin will be a record transfer fee for a player sold by Major League Soccer. Sorry Jozy Altidore but that record of yours is in real danger.
Where that next destination is will depend on the player and what he fancies for himself as he has been linked with a choice between Brazil, Poland, Portugal and/or the Netherlands.
B Canadian football fans should be really excited about this kid
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