Ladies and gentlemen, he’s back.
On MLS Secondary Transfer Window deadline day, Toronto FC has completed the signing of Richie Laryea on loan from newly promoted English Premier League side Nottingham Forest through the summer of 2023.
Toronto traded $175,000 in 2022 General Allocation Money (GAM) and $50,000 in 2023 GAM to FC Dallas for the second overall spot in the MLS Allocation Order. Additionally, TFC traded $50,000 in 2022 GAM and $75,000 in 2023 GAM and the second overall spot to FC Cincinnati in order to obtain the first overall position in the Allocation Order. As part of the transaction, FC Cincinnati will also receive additional conditional GAM if certain incentives are met.
Toronto FC head coach and sporting director Bob Bradley had already informed his players of Laryea’s return during training on Thursday.
“It’s great to bring Richie back to the club,” said Bradley.
“As everyone knows by now, Richie established himself as one of the best outside backs in the league. He’s a dynamic player, a fantastic dribbler, and a real competitor. To have Richie back in his hometown to play for TFC ahead of Canada’s trip to the World Cup is exciting.”
Despite the hype surrounding his transfer to England in January 2022, the Toronto native failed to establish himself in England, making just five appearances (117 minutes) for Forest as they secured promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs. Laryea’s long-awaited debut for the club came on April 18th, more than three months after he put pen to paper on a three-and-a-half year deal at City Ground.
The deadline day arrival of Laryea comes at an opportune time for TFC, as Bob Bradley now has an esteemed natural right-back at his disposal until June of next year. Kosi Thompson, who is in fact a midfielder, has been used as the Reds’ starting right-back for the majority of the 2022 campaign so far.
Bob Bradley’s other options at right-back also include Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty, who made his first start for TFC since returning from injury in the 0-0 against the New England Revolution, and Kadin Chung, who has not played for the Reds since the delayed 2020 Canadian Championship Final on June 4th.
For Laryea, he is now set to earn invaluable first team minutes ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in November. Given Nottingham Forest’s acquisitions during the summer transfer window, most notably Wales international Neco Williams from Liverpool, the writing was on the wall for Laryea with regards to his opportunities during the 2022-23 season.
In spite of other reported loan offers from clubs in the Netherlands and the EFL Championship, Toronto was seemingly Laryea’s best opportunity to play significant minutes prior to representing his country on the biggest stage in world football.
“I am very excited to have the opportunity to be back with TFC and play in front of our fans at BMO Field,” said Laryea.
“I know it’s an important time for the club as we push for the playoffs, and I want to help the team achieve success.”
Laryea initially joined Toronto FC in March 2019 after having his contract option declined by Orlando City SC in November 2018. With a point to prove, Laryea began to turn heads across the region as he played an integral role in helping TFC reach MLS Cup 2019.
His bright start to life at TFC earned him his first call-up to the Canadian men’s national team in late August 2019. Laryea’s first cap for Les Rouges came in a CONCACAF Nations League clash with Cuba on September 7th.
In 83 appearances during his first stint with the Reds, Laryea scored nine goals and provided 12 assists in all competitions.
As Toronto continues their ambitious push for a place in the 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs, the TFC faithful will undoubtedly relish the fact that Richie Laryea is set to star for the Reds once again.