Orlando City’s Hilariously Passive-Aggressive Press Release Ends Cyle Larin Transfer Saga

The Cyle Larin transfer drama finally came to a conclusion on Tuesday. Orlando City agreed to terms with Turkish giant Besiktas for the Canadian striker to move overseas, ending a weeks-long standoff between the involved parties, but not without some harsh comments from the Florida club. 

Larin, a 22-year-old goal scorer, had three mostly productive seasons in Orlando. After being the No. 1 draft pick out of UConn, he scored 18 goals to be named MLS Rookie of the Year in 2015. He had diminishing returns, however, scoring 14 and then 12 goals in the following seasons. Larin has scored five goals in 23 appearances for the Canadian national team. He also had a DUI arrest last summer. 

It was no secret Larin wanted to move abroad. Orlando City prepared for this eventuality by trading for Dom Dwyer in July and Sacha Kljestan in January. The Lions also picked up NASL’s leading scorer Stefano Pinho in December. 

But the Cyle Larin transfer was not without drama that felt like a junior high hissy fit. Orlando City opted to not take the high road, saying in a press release the club was “disappointed with the unacceptable behavior of the athlete and his representatives.”

Cyle Larin transfer

The Cyle Larin transfer resulted in a few hurt feelings. Photo: @SBISoccer | Twitter

The reason for the ire stems from how Larin, his agents and Besiktas seemingly tried to cheat Orlando City out of a transfer fee. When he was drafted, Larin signed a three-year deal, with a club option to add up to two years to the contract. The Lions picked up the option for 2018 in November. But Besiktas tried to claim Larin was not under contract and would join the club as a free transfer.

For a couple weeks Larin was in Turkey training with Besiktas as if he was already a member of the club despite still being under contract with Orlando City. The Lions’ management clearly didn’t appreciate this, hence the passive-aggressive comment about Larin’s unacceptable behavior in a short, terse statement on the striker’s departure. 

Fortunately for all involved, Besiktas and Orlando City eventually came to an agreement for a transfer fee. Reports suggest Besiktas paid more than $2.3 million for the Cyle Larin transfer.

Larin will join new signing Vagner Love in Istanbul. The veteran Brazilian could help mentor the young Canadian. 

All sides could have handled this better, but in the end Larin is in Europe, Orlando City got some cash and we got a laugh, so it mostly worked out alright. 

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