So, Cyle Larin hasn't scored in his last three matches. Orlando City is also 1-1-3 on the season when he doesn't. But, in matches where he has scored, Orlando City is 1-1-2. Larin missed Orlando's loss to Philadelphia due to injury, which didn't make matters any better for a team that missed out on the postseason by five points a year ago.
Last season, Orlando City went 8-2-1 in matches where Larin scored. If we take that model and apply it over an entire season, we have a 24-6-3 record, good for best in MLS. Granted, that's only 33 matches, but 75 points would have still been 15 points clear of the nearest team. So, at worst, with Orlando City picking up another loss, that's still where it would be on the table.
What does this tell us? That Orlando City is the best team in MLS when Cyle Larin finishes? Well, I love Canadian Messi as much as the next person, but I think 15 matches is a small sample size. Yes, he has 21 goals in 15 matches; Larin had hat tricks last season vs. NYCFC and New York Red Bulls, along with braces in the Aug. 1 victory over the Columbus Crew and the Oct. 16 win against NYCFC again (side note: Larin has six goals in three games against NYCFC, who OCSC will visit again May 29).
What this ultimately says about the team is that it needs Larin to score. Orlando City only managed to win four games when Larin didn't score, and two of those wins were played without him altogether. In 2015, Kaká had the second-most goals for the team, with nine. And after him? Bryan Róchez with three. Right now, through 10 games in 2016, Larin has four goals (in nine appearances), which is as many as Kevin Molino has scored in 10 (Kaká and Adrian Winter each have two).
Last Week, I established that, weirdly enough, Carlos Rivas has assisted Larin more than any other player on the roster, with four services on Larin goals. Kaká assisted him thrice, which is the same amount of times Corey Ashe did. And amazingly, those are the only players to assist Larin multiple times during the 2015 season. Thus far, Brek Shea, Kevin Molino, and Rafael Ramos have assisted Cyle in 2016. Ramos has done it twice, which (sigh) now also ties him with Kaká on assists for Larin all-time.
We're all aware of the offensive potential the Generation Adidas player is capable of generating. The fact that 10 players on the squad were able to assist him en route to the MLS record for goals scored by a rookie is also encouraging to see, since virtually any player can contribute to getting results for this squad. The only real challenge after that is finishing and securing results. Hopefully, as May presses on into June, Orlando City will be able to get Larin completely involved in the attack and climb the table as summer rolls on into fall and the beginning of the MLS playoffs.