Cyle Larin won’t be named to Canada’s initial Gold Cup roster

Cyle-Larin

Canada's Cyle Larin. (Darryl Dyck/CP)

Canada Soccer confirmed to Sportsnet on Friday that star forward Cyle Larin won’t be named to the Canada’s 23-man roster for next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Larin, a 22-year-old native of Brampton, Ont., was arrested last week in Florida on a drunk driving charge. According to the police report, Larin, who plays for Major League Soccer club Orlando City, blew a .179 and a .182 on a sobriety test. The Florida legal limit is .08.

Larin is currently undergoing an assessment by MLS’ Substance Abuse and Behavioural Health program doctors. He is not eligible “to participate in any competition or team activity,” until that assessment is complete and he is cleared for participation by SABH program doctors, and MLS completes its investigation.

At the time of his arrest, Canada Soccer released a statement, saying that it “will remain in contact with Orlando City SC and Major League Soccer in respect of the protocols to be followed.”

Canadian men’s coach Octavio Zambrano is expected to announced his 23-man team for the Gold Cup some time next week. The CONCACAF competition runs from July 7-26 across 14 cities in the United States.

Under Gold Cup rules, teams that make it out of the group stage can swap up to six players from its 40-man provisional roster list. Canada Soccer confirmed to Sportsnet that Larin remains on the team’s 40-man roster.

So, there is a chance Larin could still feature at the Gold Cup if Canada qualifies for the knockout round. The Reds will compete in a round-robin group with French Guiana, Honduras and Costa Rica.

The top two teams in each of the three first-round groups – plus the two-best third-place nations – move on the knockout round.

Canada Soccer said that no determination has been made at this time as to whether Zambrano would call Larin into the squad if Canada makes it out of its group.

The day before the arrest, Larin earned his 20th cap for Canada in a 2-1 win over Curacao in friendly staged in Montreal.

Larin is considered one of Canada’s top players, with eight goals in 15 MLS games this season, so his absence, at least for the group stage, is a big blow for the Reds.

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