ANALYSIS – After an unsuccessful trip to Nottingham Forest FC, Richie Laryea is now coming back to Toronto FC via a loan from Nottingham Forest. This loan will be in effect until the summer of 2023 according to CWEB.com. This will be Laryea’s second stint with TFC. His first run with Toronto was very successful, as he became one of TFC’s best players as a right fullback.
Richie Laryea: His time with Nottingham Forest FC
Look who's home ❤️ pic.twitter.com/wvDBxCA8fa
— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) August 5, 2022
Laryea did not have the easiest of times with Nottingham Forrest FC. He only played five games and 117 minutes. According to OneSoccer, he was consistently playing backup to players like Djed Spence, Max Lowe, and Jack Colback.
🇨🇦 On comes Richie Laryea for his Forest debut, replacing Spence
— Nottingham Forest FC (@NFFC) April 18, 2022
Laryea had great aspirations heading into Forest. This is what Steve Cooper said about Laryea back in February according to Sarah Clapson of Nottingham Post:
Unfortunately, with Nottingham Forest spending more money thanks to their promotion to the Premier League, it might have been more difficult for Laryea to get playing time compared to before. It also benefited Toronto FC, as they need a spark in order to make the MLS Cup Playoffs this year.
Toronto FC: How they got Richie Laryea
I'm told Toronto FC will trade around $225k GAM to FC Dallas to move up the Allocation Order to complete the signing of Richie Laryea. https://t.co/biadum01Wy
— Tom Bogert (@tombogert) August 4, 2022
TFC had to pay allocation money in order for FC Dallas to acquire Laryea from Nottingham Forest. It is important to remember that he is going to Toronto on a loan from Nottingham Forest. He is still technically considered part of the Nottingham Forest organization. However, this is not stopping other TFC players from expressing their enthusiasm for the fullback playing for TFC again. This is what TFC head coach, Bob Bradley, said about Laryea coming back to Toronto according to Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun:
“Richie’s experienced as a right or left back,” said the coach. “He has a really good ability to come forward. Defensively he’s grown in so many ways with his different experiences. Very well-liked and respected inside the club – that part I think fits really well with everything we’ve been trying to do.”
Bradley would later also talk about his progression as a player for TFC. Some readers may not know this, but before he came to TFC, he was not seen as an MLS-calibre player according to his previous team, which was the Orlando City SC. Laryea though made his mark on TFC and proved to all the doubters that he can play at the MLS level.
What Laryea brings to Toronto FC and his chances with the CanMNT
Back like he never left 🍁
— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) August 6, 2022
Richie Laryea brings a lot of speed and athleticism to Toronto FC. One that comes to mind was the foul Laryea drew inside the box against New York City FC in the 2019 Eastern Conference semi-finals. As a result, Alejandro Pozuelo scored the late game-winning goal. TFC then won against Atlanta United FC before losing to the rivals, the Seattle Sounders FC, at CenturyLink Field. He also can create scoring chances for his teammates, which will now include new Designated Players like Lorenzo Insigne.
Laryea was one of TFC’s lone bright lights last year and was seen as the 2021 TFC season’s Most Valuable Player of last year by Raheem Bashir. Now, it is entirely possible that Laryea may go back to Forest or play for another European team, which Kyle Watson outlined in his article before this transaction was made.
The other point is that Laryea will want to secure his spot with the CanMNT for the FIFA World Cup. Yes, Richie Laryea is not playing in Europe, but if he plays for Toronto as he did in his first stint, it should be a lock for him to be on the CanMNT roster. It is also better to get playing time in MLS than to not get playing time in the Premier League when the FIFA World Cup starts in November.
It is possible that Laryea may feature in today’s game. The game between the two teams kicks off on Saturday against Nashville SC at 8:08 p.m. ET. The game will be televised live in Canada on TSN and will also be shown live on MyTV30.
Photo Credit: Toronto FC on August 5, 2022.