He scored the first goal in Orlando City Stadium history just two weeks ago. On Saturday night, Cyle Larin scored the second and third to secure a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union in front of a sold out crowd.
With three goals through two games, Larin now ranks third in the category league wide — trailing just Portland’s Diego Valeri and Atlanta’s Josef Martinez who both have an extra 90 minutes under their belt. The quick start to his third season as a professional hasn’t caught anyone by surprise — especially his head coach.
“I think first and foremost it’s about the workrate and commitment that Cyle has put in to take himself to a new fitness level,” said Kreis. “He’s able to play a little bit different way than he did last year and I think, as I’ve always said, I enjoy seeing people that work hard get some success”.
Larin hasn’t done it all by himself, though.
“It’s really pleasing to see Cyle get a couple goals. His partner up there, he deserves a couple as well,” hinted Kreis. “I wouldn’t want to make any comments about the forwards without saying how important Carlos Rivas was to the performance tonight as well.”
Rivas has played a major part in all three of Larin’s goals this season, collecting two assists along the way. The pairing is something Jason Kreis doesn’t want to take complete credit for.
“I think it’s something that really came about in the preseason and mostly due to Carlos’ willingness to work extremely hard and give us something different with his running in behind defenders, noted Kreis. “Because he’s done that, and he did it at the end of last season as well, he’s really earned us thinking that we want to play that way.”
“He opens up the space,” started Larin, Rivas’ strike partner. “He is very strong and quick and good with the ball. He attacks the defenders. When he goes down the line to cross the ball, I make sure I am in the box.”
While the two have gotten off to one of the best start imaginable, Carlos Rivas knows there is plenty of room to improve.
“We will get used to playing together up front. It’s just a matter of time and learning to understand each other a lot more. I feel really good with him by my side. Sometimes he goes to receive the ball and I’m beside him and vice versa which works well.”