During the press conference after Cyle Larin scored a brace in a 5-2 drubbing of the Columbus Crew, the rookie was asked a multitude of questions about his recent form, his teammates and how it felt to finally win again. The first-year player out of the University of Connecticut is a man of very few words when addressing the press, so most of his responses were fairly standard.
"It takes hard work to score goals. Working hard and training and it comes out on the field," Larin remarked on what it took to score his two goals on Saturday night. After a few more standard questions, a reporter talked to Larin about how -- now that he had tied the rookie scoring record with 11 goals on the year -- he would have a chance to break it at Toronto FC on Wednesday night.
As the question was being asked, Larin's eyes lit up and he smiled, saying, "That's my hometown and it would feel good to break the record, but hopefully I can score in that game too."
Larin was born just a half hour northwest of Toronto in Brampton, Ontario. He played his club soccer for Sigma FC, which is a private soccer academy based in Mississauga, just south of Toronto. Although he had a brief college stint with UConn, Larin's soccer roots are firmly based in and around the city of Toronto.
With Larin scoring three goals against New York City FC and two more against Columbus, the first-year striker could not only become Major League Soccer's all-time rookie leader in goals, but he could also manage to break that mark in only 17 games.
Out of the 22 games that Orlando City has played in their inaugural season, Larin has only appeared in 16 of them but has still managed to score 11 goals in that time. This roughly equates to 0.68 goals per game for a player who, at the start of the season, wasn't in the team's immediate plans as a starting striker. Now the young Lion has a chance to break the rookie record that has stood since another UConn alum, Damani Ralph, set it back in 2003.
When he was asked if any family would be in attendance, Larin smiled and said, "A lot. I need a couple of tickets for that game."
Watch out Toronto, the hometown kid is coming back, and he's hungry for a record.