The OneSoccer crew was joined on Thursday by Toronto FC fullback Richie Laryea on their latest episode of Player and Pundit Hangouts.
In speaking with OneSoccer hosts Kurt Larson, Asa Rehman, and Oliver Platt, Laryea looked back at what has been an incredible 18 months for him – a period that included joining TFC from Orlando City, and breaking into Canada’s national team.
“It’s been a whirlwind of emotions… It’s been amazing, and I’m so thankful to be playing for a great organization in Toronto FC, and also being a part of the Canadian national team, ” said Laryea, a 25-year-old native of Toronto.
“It’s been challenging at times and I’ve had to dig deep and find a new version of myself to keep up with whatever life I have going on right now.”
Laryea received his first call up to the Canadian senior team last summer for a pair of Concacaf Nations League matches against Cuba. He made his debut in the first game vs. the Cubans on Sept. 7. He’s gone on to earn six caps for Canada, including playing a full 90 minutes in the Reds’ historic 2-0 win over the United States last October at BMO Field.
“It could have finished 5-0, just the way we played, it was so fearless, and aggressive and we were attacking,” Laryea recalled.
“You saw this new type of influential soccer that John Herdman is trying to impose on the national team.”
Laryea was also asked about his impressions of the Canadian Premier League after its inaugural season in 2019.
“I’m extremely happy there’s a league in Canada, because I’ve said this to so many people – one of the biggest downfalls I had growing up was that I knew many players who aren’t playing any more, (guys) who were in and around my level,” Laryea stated.
“I’m definitely happy that they have this now, because this is going to be a good stepping-stone for a lot of young players.”
To watch Thursday’s OneSoccer Player & Pundit Hangout with Richie Laryea in full, click here.