It is very romantic seeing a player play for his hometown team. In MLS soccer where the draft is still a way of acquiring the rights of a player, this means that talent does not always make it home.
While many Toronto supporters would have liked to have seen Laryea drop in the draft so the club could pick him up with their 9th overall pick, it was not to be. Orlando City SC would continue their trend of selecting Canadians and pick him with their 7th overall selection in the draft.
Richie Laryea is a Canadian who left Toronto to play his college soccer in Lebron James' home town of Akron. Laryea is a diminutive and lightweight midfielder who plays the game very technically a la his favourite club Barcelona. In 22 games in college last season Laryea scored 11 goals and provided 7 assists for Akron.
With Orlando, Laryea will be given the chance to play next to Kaka a former Ballon D'or winner. Additionally, Laryea will be able to develop a bond with Orlando SC striker, MLS rookie of the year and Canadian international Cyle Larin.
Laryea used to play for Sigma FC, a soccer team in Toronto that plays against NCAA teams in order to give their players a chance to show their talents to NCAA coaches. Laryea impressed Akron coaches enough in order for them to recruit him. With Sigma Laryea also played with Larin.
Laryea has drawn comparisons to Darlington Nagbe of Portland Timbers FC. Nagbe took a long time to develop into the outstanding midfielder that he is today. Will Laryea be given the time and the coaching that is necessary in order for him to become a standout like Nagbe?
Laryea is a huge Toronto fan, he loves Drake and he reps the Six as much as any Torontonian. While Laryea is developing in Orlando. Canadians and Torontonians can wait and dream about Laryea wearing the red of TFC and Canada.