Orlando City began a new chapter in franchise history today with the start of training camp. But striker Cyle Larin was a no-show. Larin and his agent have suggested interviews his contract expired at the end of the 2017 season and he should be free to pursue his dream of playing in Europe. Orlando City has argued Larin signed an agreement acknowledging he has two club option years remaining on his contract and they are valid, and Coach Jason Kreiss reiterated that today.
“First and foremost, Cyle is a contracted [Orlando City] player. He was supposed to be here. Whether or not there will be repercussions for not being here is a little above my pay grade,” Orlando City coach Kreis said Monday after the Lions’ first preseason workout. “We look at that situation and say he’s an MLS and Orlando City player until we hear differently.”
The Lions made a slew of roster changes after last year’s squad didn’t ,make the playoffs. The mighty Kaká did not return and announced his retirement. team mainstays Carlos Rivas and Homegrown Tommy Redding were traded, both had been with the club since it’s first MLS year.
Coming in is new firepower. M Sacha Kljestan from the New York Red Bulls, a league leader in assists. the Lions also acquired M Jose Villarreal from L.A. Galaxy, and D RJ Allen from NYCFC. Mohamed El-Munir (FK Partizan, Serbia) and forward Stéfano Pinho (Miami FC, NASL), and Paraguayan attacking midfielder Josué Colmán also joined the team.
The Lions also locked in a long-term contract with striker Dom Dwyer.
Coach Jason Kreis ran the team through the paces today as they begin training camp for the 2018 season with competitive drills, sprints, and stretching. The team trains here in Orlando thru Wednesday and then head up to Jacksonville where they will continue preseason camp before returning to Orlando on Saturday, Feb. 3.
A key reason for the Jacksonville trip is for then players to get to know each other. With so many roster changes, this will take some time.