Orlando City CEO lambastes Larin following forced exit to Besiktas
Orlando City CEO Alex Leitao is none too impressed with the behaviour of former striker Cyle Larin, who forced a move to Besiktas by heading to Turkey without his club's permission and training with them during the January transfer window.
The Lions were surprised when Besiktas announced it had signed the 22-year-old Canada international after a completed medical, with the MLS outfit soon releasing a statement threatening legal action against the Turkish side as the two parties had "not agreed to terms on a transfer."
However, Larin continued to train with Besiktas before a deal was reached and announced two weeks later before deadline day. Orlando didn't pull any punches regarding the ordeal, stating: "Although the club was disappointed with the unacceptable behavior of the athlete and his representatives, a decision was taken to guarantee compensation with the club’s future in mind."
The move should net the Lions about $2.3 million, and Leitao took time to address the debacle with reporters as his team prepares for the 2018 season.
"I will start asking you guys to understand and respect the fact that it's going to be the last time we speak about this player. I've been in this business for so long - more than 17 years - so I can testify we didn't overreact to what happened," Leitao said, as quoted by MLSsoccer.com's Mike Gramajo.
"You don't see that happen very often this kind of situation for the same reason. For this situation to happen, you need to have one side, a player that doesn't respect the club, doesn't respect his contract, doesn't care about the group, and this was exactly what we saw from Cyle."
He continued: "At this moment, we had a conversation. What's the point to force a player like that with that character, with that personality, a troublemaker (to stay)? What's the point of bringing a player like that back to the club? We decided it was better to do it and do it fast in order to put our efforts and focus on the players we have."
Larin's time at Orlando was highlighted by three seasons of strong scoring stats, with the Canadian notching 43 goals in 87 league appearances with the Lions. But he also dealt with off-field problems, getting arrested for a DUI last June. As such, head coach Jason Kreis also seemed fine with selling Larin.
"From my point of view, what we saw last year, with the things happening off the field, was alarming and we weren't happy about it," Kreis said. "And we tried to address that the best way we know how, which is disciplinary this season, but also the decisions that were made this offseason."
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