The Canada international returned to his club last week after going through MLS’ substance abuse program, and he’s ready to focus on playing again
Cyle Larin returned to the field over the weekend, helping Orlando City earn three points in a 1-0 road win at Real Salt Lake on Friday.
The game in Utah came 15 days after Larin was arrested on suspicion of a DUI in Orlando, after which he missed three games for the Lions while undergoing Major League Soccer’s Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program.
It was a time the Canadian striker won’t soon forget.
“I learned a lot while I was there just about life, just about consequences of doing certain things,” Larin told the Orlando Sentinel. “A lot of it was classes and talking to people and learning about what these things can do to you and consequences you have from doing that.
“I’ve learned a lot going away and taking time for myself. I think I’ve learned from the mistake and I won’t ever do it again. Now, I’m ready to be back, help this team win and do something special with this organization.”
Larin was arrested in the early hours on June 15, just over 24 hours after he had played for the Canadian national team in a friendly in Montreal. The 22-year-old returned to Orlando on June 14 and headed to his club’s U.S. Open Cup game. After the match, he went to a club in downtown Orlando before being pulled over by police for driving on the wrong side of the road shortly after 2:30 a.m.
He was given a field sobriety test and blew twice the legal limit.
“I was nervous,” Larin told the Sentinel. “I hadn’t been in a situation like that before. Your whole life you do everything right and something happens by mistake and it’s hard, but obviously I suffered the consequence for it and I did what I had to do.”
Larin said that while everyone from his teammates to his mother have been supportive, he realizes that he needs to work to ensure that a similar situation doesn’t arise again. He told the Sentinel that he is not an alcoholic nor does he struggle with substance abuse.
“I have to gain everyone’s trust back,” he said. “I know it will take time and I have to perform on the field to do that and take care of myself off the field, too.”