The Canadian men’s national team will be without one of its star players when the Gold Cup kicks off on July 7. Canada Soccer confirmed today that Orlando City striker Cyle Larin will be left off Canada’s 23-man roster for the tournament.
The decision to leave Larin off the roster comes after the 22-year-old Brampton, Ont. native was arrested for drunk driving on June 15. Larin was going the wrong way down a road in Florida, and blew over the legal limit. The arrest was made a day after Larin returned from playing for Canada in a friendly against Curaçao in Montreal.
He has since been admitted to MLS’ Substance Abuse and Behavioural Health Program and will be unavailable for Orlando while he is completing it.
In 15 MLS games this season, Larin has scored eight goals and added an assist. He is widely regarded as one of the league’s most promising young players, and has reportedly had European clubs interested in his services.
While Larin is not on the initial 23-man roster for Canada, it is not clear whether he will miss the tournament entirely. Should Canada advance to the knockout round, something they have not done since the 2009 tournament, they can swap out up to six players for replacements included on their 40-man provisional roster.
Larin was included in the 40-man roster, which was released prior to his June 15 arrest. Sportsnet’s John Molinaro is reporting that Canada has not yet made a decision as to whether Larin will be available to rejoin the team at that stage.
Important: Larin remains on 40-man roster so he could be added if #canMNT get to knockout round. CSA said that decision hasn't been made yet— John Molinaro (@JohnMolinaro) June 23, 2017
Canada’s full roster for the 2017 Gold Cup is expected soon, with several other countries already releasing their lists. Anthony Jackson-Hamel, Lucas Cavallini, Tesho Akindele and Toronto FC’s Tosaint Ricketts are possible replacements for Larin.