TORONTO – Though he will don the Canada national team's red and white on Saturday in a friendly against Jamaica, Cyle Larin is well aware that his Orlando City SC will be playing a huge away match at the New England Revolution (7 pm ET | MLS LIVE).
“The next couple games are important for us," Larin said after Canada's training session at BMO Field Thursday. "Especially this weekend,”
It has been a difficult season for both the third-year striker and his only MLS club.
Orlando won six of their first seven matches, but have taken full points in just two of 19 since. The Lions are currently mired in a winless stretch of seven matches – a new, unwanted, club record – that they will be seeking to squash in their visit to New England.
“It's a long one, the longest I've been a part of,” said Larin of the streak. “Last year we went through [a five-game stretch, then] went on a winning streak; missed the playoffs by one point. We can get back into that rhythm, start winning again, and make the playoffs.”
Larin, who has scored two goals in the last four matches, said he feels some responsibility to take on a two-way leadership role.
“The defense starts from me," he said. "I can help on that side. I'm the first line, can show leadership by putting defenders under pressure. Its brings the team. They'll follow off what I do.”
Most troubling for Larin may be their recent form at their new Orlando City Stadium, where they are winless in their last six.
“We should win all our games there,” Larin said. “The fans are great, the field is great; all the noise goes down to the field. We've got a couple more at home. Get the points there; get points on the road.”
Larin also believes he and mid-season arrival Dom Dwyer can improve their combined production. Hampered by a nose injury, Dwyer has yet to score in four appearances since arriving from Sporting Kansas City in a blockbuster July trade.
“Last game, the 45 minutes we had were our best together,” Larin said. “It's a very good mix. [Dwyer] likes to get after you; is a good finisher. I'm a different player, but we both score goals. That's the most important thing."