Larin Canda

Cyle Larin Sees ‘New Culture’ in Canadian National Team

Cyle Larin isn’t just one of the best young players in MLS-- he is also the hope of the Canadian National Team. He’s made nineteen appearances for the senior team, earning his first call-up after his freshman season at the University of Connecticut. He plays there alongside Orlando City midfielder Will Johnson.

Larin is a part of a new culture, a turning-point for Canadian soccer. They recently hired a new head coach, Octavio Zambrano. They have a lot of young talent, amongst which Larin is the star. These are things that the Canadians are hoping they can develop and use to carry them to a World Cup and beyond. 

“When I first came, I know they had just changed the program to try to become a better program and to try to bring a new culture to the Canadian team and the nation. I think it’s getting better,” Larin said. “Now, we have a new coach. I think he’ll come in and help us out a lot, bring that fight back to Canada. We have a very important tournament coming up-- the Gold Cup-- and I think if we do well there we’ll keep going on and in the future make a World Cup.”

“We have very good young players,” Larin continued. “I think our new generation comes with very skilled players and players that want to win and players that want to be on the field. I think these new players will be very important to the future of the program and for us to make it to the next level.”

Aside from Larin, the new faces of Canadian soccer include Maxime Crepeau (Goalkeeper, Montreal Impact), Sam Adekugbe (Defender, Montreal Impact), Jordan Hamilton (Forward, Toronto FC), and Alphonso Davies (Forward, Vancouver Whitecaps). Davies is a particularly impressive player amongst the bunch. He made his first appearance in MLS at the age of fifteen, and at sixteen, he has made six starts in thirteen total appearances. 

As Larin mentioned, the Gold Cup is coming up this summer. That tournament starts in early July, and might be a good launching point for Canada to prove themselves to their regional competitors. Canada is also part of a joint-bid for the World Cup in 2026, shared between Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Another moment for them to take the global stage.

But for now, Larin is locked in on Orlando City. He’s off to a stellar start this season-- six goals in six matches-- and he knows that the knowledge and skills he gains here will travel with him to Canada. 

For club and for country. 

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UPDATE: June 10, 2020 - Major League Soccer announced it will restart the 2020 season with all 26 MLS clubs competing in the MLS is Back Tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida beginning July 8. Upon completion of the tournament, MLS plans to continue its regular season with a revised schedule in home markets. The revised schedule may see certain matches from the original 2020 MLS regular season schedule being cancelled or rescheduled. The final number of matches and the schedule for the remainder of the 2020 MLS regular season and related ticket policies will be announced in the coming weeks.