After two years of mostly playing second-team soccer, midfielder Richie Laryea is beginning to see first-team playing time on a consistent level toward the end of the 2017 MLS season.
Laryea attributes his success to playing at Orlando City B, where crucial and impressive performances have paved the way into the first team.
“Another year where I was learning a lot, and took the [OCB] games seriously in the beginning, and I got a good run out there,” said Laryea. “Started getting minutes into first team That’s my end goal, to be with the first team as much as possible. I think it’s been a good year for progression.”
That progression started his rookie year in 2016 when he was instantly loaned down to Orlando City B for the entire season.
The 2016 season was a learning year, according to Richie. A learning period where he played 23 games with OCB.
But 2017 is showing to be his learning-curve year after initially playing 12 games and scoring 3 goals for OCB, which spurred the opportunity to play 10 games toward the latter part of the MLS season with the first team, Orlando City.
“First year was a lot about learning — Second year, I’m still learning as well, but I think I’m doing a lot better this year. [I’m] more mature, adjusted to the players and surroundings,” said Laryea.
Laryea has never started a regular season game with Orlando City, but with two games left to the season, he wouldn’t mind starting if it warrants it.
A progressive year for Laryea has meant a possible Canadian national team call-up in the future.
With opportunities at club level coming. Richie hopes his work ethic will eventually put him into the Canadian national team picture.
“It’s always nice to play for your national team. I could of went to the [U23’s] a little bit earlier and something came up,” he said. “I’ll just keep working and see if I’ll get called up. ”
Richie says he’s been in talks with coaches, but he’s focused on working and waiting to see if he’s named to a future camp.
Laryea appeared in Orlando City’s last game on Sept. 30 during a scoreless draw against FC Dallas. He was subbed on in the 55th minute for Servando Carrasco.
The Lions play their final home game of the season against the Columbus Crew, Sunday at 5 p.m. at Orlando City Stadium.
(Photo Courtesy of Orlando City)
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