ORLANDO, Fla. – As expected, Cyle Larin did not report to the first day of preseason camp for Orlando City SC on Monday.
Larin, who told the Orlando Sentinel in October about his desire to continue his career in Europe in 2018, was pictured earlier in January undergoing medical tests at Turkish side Besiktas, despite Orlando's insistence that no deal to transfer Larin had been agreed. That resulted into the Lions hiring attorney Marcos Motta to handle the current transfer situation with Larin, and Orlando head coach Jason Kreis reiterated the club's position on Monday.
"First and foremost, Cyle is a contracted Orlando City player,” Kreis told reporters. “He was supposed to be here. Whether or not there will be repercussions for not being here is a little above my pay grade. We look at that situation and say he’s an MLS and Orlando City player until we hear differently.”
Larin was the No. 1 overall pick for Orlando in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. Since joining the Lions, the Canadian international has scored 43 goals in 87 MLS appearances for the Lions from 2015-2017.
When Kreis was asked if he’s spoken to Larin, he was subtle on his response: “No, not at all.”
Larin’s absence on Monday did not appear to impact his teammates – many that are new to the club. For defender Jonathan Spector, the ongoing situation on Larin is not distracting the overall team.
“It’s something the club is dealing with,” Spector said. “As players, we’re not focused on that. We’re focused on what we’re doing and building as a team. As far as I know, he’s still contracted here, but it’s something I’m not going to comment on any further.”