It was a rather short offseason, but the timing couldn’t have been perfect for Cyle Larin.
He was already fit and ready.
Larin along with a handful of players stayed in Orlando during the offseason and trained, according to Orlando City coach Jason Kreis.
And it showed during the club’s first training session of the year on Monday.
“He’s been putting in quite a bit of work,” said Kreis. “He’s one of the handful of players that stayed here the entire offseason work with Dave McKay our fitness coach, and those players have shown that they’re trim right now and fit and strong.”
Larin is returning this year from a team-high 14 goals in 2016 and a 17-goal rookie record campaign the year before in 2015.
His confidence is high, yet grounded. But one thing is certain, the Canadian international has grasped the league he plays in, and knows what to expect from himself entering his third year.
“It’s my third year in the league, and I know I can score a lot more goals,” said Larin. “I’m a lot fitter than I was in the beginning of preseason last year, and I know what to expect now.”
Larin’s physique was rather unusual on Monday. A more toned and trim body was noticeable. He carried himself as a veteran of the team even though he’s only been a professional athlete for three years.
Larin did admit, his form in the latter part of his sophomore year did slow down, but this offseason and the focus on preseason is room for improvement, according to Kreis.
“We want a lot of improvement for Cyle,” added Kreis. “From my point of view, it’s every facet of his game. Now it’s his third year as a pro, and he needs to move forward. He had a little bit of a stalling period last season, which you can expect from a young player. Now it’s about how you react to that and improve after that.”
The striker said his personal goal this year is to score more goals, “but more team goals than personal.”
Entering his third year in the league, Larin seems to have a greater understanding of the league. He knows what the coaches expect from him and even added defending to his repertoire. Not shooting enough in the previous seasons, however, he concluded has to change this year.