Toronto FC completes two side deals to seal Richie Laryea’s return on loan

Richie Laryea of Canada's Toronto FC, front, and Walter Montoya of Mexico's Cruz Azul compete for the ball during CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal second leg soccer match at Azteca stadium in Mexico City, Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Fernando Llano/AP)

Toronto FC confirmed the return of Canadian fullback/wingback Richie Laryea on Friday on loan from England’s Nottingham Forrest.

To get Laryea, Toronto made side-deals involving at least US$350,000 in general allocation money with FC Dallas and FC Cincinnati to move up the allocation order, which MLS uses as a mechanism for former MLS players returning to the league after leaving on a transfer fee of US$500,000 or more.

Toronto sent US$225,000 in general allocation money ($175,000 in 2022 and $50,000 in 2023) to Dallas for the second overall spot in the allocation order. TFC then sent US$125,000 in general allocation money ($50,000 in 2022 and $75,000 in 2023) plus the second overall spot to Cincinnati to move into top spot in the allocation order, paving the way to get Laryea.

Cincinnati will receive additional general allocation money if certain incentives are met. 

“It’s great to bring Richie back to the club,” Bob Bradley, Toronto’s coach and sporting director, said in a statement. “As everyone knows by now, Richie established himself as one of the best outside backs in the league. He’s a dynamic player, a fantastic dribbler, and a real competitor. To have Richie back in his hometown to play for TFC ahead of Canada’s trip to the World Cup is exciting.”

The 27-year-old from Toronto spent three seasons in TFC colours before being sold to Nottingham Forest in January. But he saw limited playing time in England’s second tier, unable to crack a Forest lineup on a winning run under manager Steve Cooper, who led the team to promotion.

He made his debut for Forest on April 18 against West Bromwich Albion, appearing in just five games during his six months with the club.

Laryea’s career took an upturn after joining Toronto as a free agent in March 2019 after Orlando City, which had drafted him seventh overall in 2016, declined his contract option. Switched to fullback from the midfield, Laryea made a combined 83 appearances across all competitions for Toronto with nine goals and 12 assists.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to be back with TFC and play in front of our fans at BMO Field,” Laryea said in a statement. “I know it’s an important time for the club as we push for the playoffs, and I want to help the team achieve success.” 

At the international level, Laryea has earned 30 caps and scored one goal with two assists for Canada.

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