The ongoing drama regarding Cyle Larin’s desire to move Turkish club Besiktas took another turn earlier on Tuesday, as video surfaced of him training with the club, all while Orlando City kept insisting the Canada international is still under contract with the MLS side.
At issue is whether Orlando’s club option for 2018 that was written into Larin’s MLS contract is valid. Orlando officially picked up Larin’s option for this season last November and said Larin signed a document last year acknowledging the club options.
But Larin’s public comments and the actions of his representatives indicate they believe the player is a free agent. Larin has been in Turkey for roughly the last 10 days, with the club tweeting pictures of him undergoing a medical exam and posing in the club’s jersey.
In response Orlando hired attorney Marcos Motta, and the team has threatened action against Besiktas.
Beşiktaş’ın yeni transferi Cyle Larin bugünkü antrenmana katıldı. MSL’nin Cyle Larin’a vereceği cezayı futbolcunun kendisinin karşılayacağı Beşiktaşlı yetkililer tarafından belirtildi. @Hakan_gundogar pic.twitter.com/BOM3Ui6iLq
— Kartal Analiz (@kartalanalizcom) January 23, 2018
As Orlando opened training camp for the upcoming season on Monday, Larin was officially a no-show, much to the annoyance of manager Jason Kreis.
“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.”
Kreis added he hasn’t spoken to Larin about the situation.
Larin’s representatives did not respond to a message seeking comment on the situation.
Larin has scored 43 goals in 87 appearances with Orlando City since breaking out as a rookie in the 2015 season. The No. 1 overall draft pick out of UConn, he set the single-season record for goals with 17 in Orlando City’s first year in MLS.
His numbers have dropped since then as Orlando City changed coaches and systems, with Larin scoring 14 goals in 2016 and just 12 last season.
Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.