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Why it Wouldn't Make Sense Financially for Orlando City to Sell Cyle Larin This Summer

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Orlando City would be smart to wait on selling Cyle Larin until after this season because MLS rules say the club could make more money.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando City has some decisions to make this summer.

With players like Cristian Higuita and Cyle Larin making names for themselves in MLS, they're putting themselves on the map of teams in bigger leagues across the world.

The chances of Higuita leaving this summer are high -- assuming Orlando City can find the right offer for him. He's been one of the league's most dominating defensive midfielders over the past year, and was being courted by some big European clubs even before the Lions were able to get him under contract.

Larin is starting to draw interest from big clubs outside of MLS himself. Just yesterday, he was linked to Serie A club Lazio, and more teams will certainly surface in the coming months.

For Orlando City, however, the key will be to hold back its urges to sell and keep Larin with the club through at least the end of the season.

Larin is arguably the team's best player right now, with four goals in six games this season after netting 17 in his rookie campaign last year. Of course, it'd be natural for me to say the team shouldn't sell him in the middle of what could be its first playoff season in MLS, but there's more to why the club might hang on to the 21-year-old Canadian for a few extra months.

Because Larin was drafted as a Generation Adidas player by Orlando City last year, the club will get a portion of whatever transfer fee the Lions end up getting for him. However, his service time in the league determines how much Orlando actually gets.

According to the MLS roster rules set in place by the current CBA, if Larin is sold this summer, Orlando City would only recoup a third of the transfer fee, with the rest going to the league, because he only has one year of service time in MLS.

Per MLS, one year of service time gets you a third, two years means half, and selling a player with at least three years of service times generates two thirds of the fee for the club.

According to Thursday's report linking Larin to Lazio, the price tag was set at about $9 million. Selling Larin this summer for that amount would get Orlando City roughly $3 million, compared to around $4.5 million they'd bring in by selling him after the end of the season.

It's the club's decision on whether -- and when -- to sell, and the front office shouldn't be in any rush to move Larin at this point. As far as the current roster and season goes, it wouldn't make sense to sell unless the Lions were immediately able to throw that money back into the transfer window and buy another striker to fill his spot.

Otherwise, Orlando City would be wise to wait until the winter, as some overseas teams could be a little more desperate for mid-season help and the transfer fee going back to the club could also go a little bit higher.