Over the past year and a half, Orlando City has taken advantage of their USL squad, Orlando City B, to develop players, rehabilitate injuries, and prepare for MLS-level matches. Richie Laryea is the latest player to highlight that relationship, coming in with three MLS appearances in recent weeks and working diligently towards his first start. At the same time, Laryea continues to work with Orlando City B and make a name for himself in USL.
“He’s working in a really positive direction right now,” Kreis said. “We had a very stern conversation about what he needed to do if he wanted to get opportunities to play in the first team. And how he really needed to treat these OCB performances the right way because they are real for us. And he took the message on full bore, has performed extremely well with OCB in the matches he’s played there, and then he earned his opportunity, and when he got his opportunity, he showed us that it really means a lot to him.”
Laryea, who is originally from Toronto, is the third Canadian on the MLS side. He joked in training that sometimes he feels like the “other” Canadian attacking player. When asked about his personality, Kreis smiled.
“Quiet,” he said. “Another quiet Canadian.”
Kreis hopes that Laryea will be an example of the type of work ethic he expects from the men who hover between the MLS and USL squads. In addition to Laryea, Earl Edwards Jr. has also spoken extensively about his commitment to USL and his readiness to move to MLS should they need him. Kreis expects his players-- especially the guys in USL-- to take that very seriously.
“They better be,” Kreis said. “Because if they don’t, they won’t be here long term. That is the philosophy that we have: that those games matter, those are the games where players who aren’t getting minutes with the first team prove to the coaching staff that they deserve those minutes.”