After a wild day at the 2016 MLS SuperDraft that saw numerous trades and several unexpected selections, Orlando City SC head coach Adrian Heath has himself two new toys to play with in former University of Akron midfielder Richie Laryea and University of Central Florida forward Hadji Barry.
The question now is: What kind of impact can these young men have on the organization in 2016?
MF Richie Laryea
A right-footed midfielder capable of plugging a variety of holes, Laryea joins the club with all the tools to make an immediate impact. While his speed and ball skills make him quite capable on the right wing, he also possesses a strong shot and an ability to unleash it from range that allows him to attack from the top of the box.
As a Toronto native, Laryea grew up competing alongside MLS Rookie of the Year Cyle Larin and is relishing the opportunity to reunite with his childhood friend at the professional level. When speaking with OCSC's official site, he called the scenario a "dream come true."
The addition of Laryea gives Heath a wealth of options in the midfield. Should Kaká need rest, he has the option of either bringing Laryea on directly in the center of the formation or sliding the returning Kevin Molino to his USL position, allowing Laryea to play what may be a more comfortable role on the right.
His eagerness to impact every facet of the game could come in handy should defensive midfielder Cristian Higuita again find himself in the officials' doghouse. In the same manner we saw Eric Avila occasionally fill in, we could see Laryea this year.
F Hadji Barry
With solid size and the kind of speed you have to see to believe, this UCF Knight charged right up draft boards following the MLS combine. He has the speed to make any run on the pitch, and it isn't hard to imagine him finding his way to put his head on the end of many Carlos Rivas crosses over the next few years -- that sort of speed is tough to duplicate league wide.
It may be a while before that vision comes to fruition, however. While Barry's athleticism is elite, his skill set is raw. He has qualities that you like in a striker -- a soft touch, calm in the box, powerful finisher -- but will need to sharpen up technically and learn what it takes to beat more talented defenders at the professional level. Some time at Orlando City B could be in his immediate future.