The Cyle Larin era in Orlando City has seen some ups and downs but it is becoming more and more apparent that OCSC must move past Larin to be successful in MLS.
Despite all the good things, there is just something missing in Orlando for Larin.
First the good
Larin is the leading scorer for the Lions in 2017 tallying 9 goals in 21 games this season and is a bright young star for the Canadian National Team.
His physical presence was felt almost immediately in the league (a rookie record 17 goals in 2015) justifying his No. 1 selection in the 2015 Superdraft.
Year Two in MLS for Larin saw him smash in 14 goals as he continued to build his resume both with club and country picking up 20 caps during his career. Entering the 2017 season Larin’s stock was rising and he seemed poised for another great campaign.
Now the bad
Larin started the season scoring goals, playing in a new stadium, and being the driving force of the OCSC early-season success.
Then as the results began to turn, Larin was arrested for DUI on June 15 exposing another side of the star forward showing an undisciplined, out-of-focus star for a team that desperately needed something positive at the moment.
Since the DUI arrest, Larin has just one goal and one assist and has been admitted to the league’s Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health program.
The Larin on the pitch during July and August just seems to be lacking an interest in the team and just hasn’t made a connection in limited opportunities with OCSC’s newest signing forward Dom Dwyer.
How Orlando City has framed Larin’s future
The arrival of Dom Dwyer and the surplus of Designated Player Carlos Rivas in the side has created too many forwards and not enough minutes to go around in Orlando.
OCSC is all in on Dwyer after his record-setting transfer fee and Rivas has talent but lacks the big-ticket name recognition to earn a hefty transfer fee. Kaka and Will Johnson are the elder statesmen in the side and they are not looking for a long-term babysitting gig with Larin.
Coach Jason Kreis has always been able to manage both the young and old stars on his roster with the examples of Poku and Pirlo in Kreis’ NYCFC days as evidence.
Kreis will eventually get this Larin situation right by seeking a trade or transfer for the striker’s services.
Where could Larin go and what could OCSC gain?
The obvious choices would be around MLS where OCSC would gain maximum value for the move.
A move overseas seems less likely for these financial reasons. So who would be the buyers and would Larin fit any MLS team’s needs?
A move to a team in the U.S. would be a side step for Larin and his big payday and career revival needs to be back at home in Canada.
Looking at the Canadian sides, Toronto is set and would not want the Larin-show to upset their return to MLS Cup in 2017. Vancouver already has their star-Canadian-player-in-the-making with 16-year-old phenom Alphonso Davies, so they would not be buyers.
And that leaves Montreal. The Impact are barely in a playoff position and star forward Ignacio Piatti has been dropping some serious hints that 2017 will be his final tour with the franchise.
Looking at the threat of losing Piatti, the need for goals in Montreal, and the possibility of having two young Canadian star players in the line-up (Montreal just acquired midfielder Samuel Piette on August 3), it makes great sense to move Larin to the Impact.
Toronto is Canada’s team right now based around U.S. and Italian stars…so imagine how much attention Montreal could get by being both good and fueled by Canadian star power?
Orlando needs a goalkeeper and by Montreal trading Bush or Kronberg for Larin this would provide a clear upgrade in the OCSC nets with Montreal not missing a beat in attack.
Cyle Larin needs (and deserves) a fresh start and Montreal could be just the place. His Orlando days are drawing to a close and the sooner this happens the faster he and OCSC can be successful.
Written by Forrest Wimberly
Follow Forrest on Twitter @ForrestWimberly
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