Can we stop talking about the sophomore slump now? One of the media’s favorite tropes just doesn’t look like it’s going to apply to Orlando City striker Cyle Larin.
Just seven minutes into Friday night’s match, the 20-year old Canadian headed in a deflection from NYCFC keeper Josh Saunders for what would be the game winner in City’s 1-0 victory. It was his third goal of the season in as many games and it’s starting to look like he might fulfill his head coach’s prophecy.
“I expect him to score 20 goals this season,” said Adrian Heath after the match. “I know he’s bigger, he’s stronger, he’s quicker. He’s a lot more experienced now. He’s got all the tools to be a top class striker.”
While Larin may have slipped under the league’s radar last season that certainly hasn’t been the case this year. He’s been met with highly physical play and has taken his fare share of lumps to prove it.
“I anticipate it now and today was a bit more physical,” said Larin. “I’m just going to keep fighting and that’s what I kept doing in the game and I got a goal. The next few games I’m going to keep doing the same thing.”
That ability to adapt and learn leads Adrian Heath to believe he might have a pretty special player on his hands.
“He’s learning lessons. We do a lot of video work with him, a lot of training. And he’s picking it up. That’s the most important thing. His futures really bright.