Richie Laryea Returns Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC has made a significant move in the MLS by bringing defender Richie Laryea back to the league. The Canadian international has been acquired on loan from English Premier League side Nottingham Forest, with his deal set to run through December 2023. This marks a return to MLS after his previous loan stint with Toronto FC from Nottingham Forest concluded at the end of June.
Although Richie Laryea has yet to make a breakthrough at Nottingham Forest, he showcased his skills earlier this season with an impressive performance of 2 goals and 3 assists in 18 games, all of which he started, for Toronto FC.
In response to the acquisition, Whitecaps' sporting director Axel Schuster praised Laryea, stating, "Richie is a winner, competitor, leader, and has proven to be one of the best fullbacks in our league. Since the end of 2021, he has played in every single national team game, including all three World Cup games. We are very pleased to welcome Richie, Melanie, and their son Elijah to our family."
Having played a crucial role in Canada's national team, Laryea was an integral part of their historic journey to the 2022 FIFA World Cup as Concacaf champions, having scored once in 45 international appearances.
Throughout his MLS career, which commenced in 2016 with Orlando City SC, Richie Laryea has been an influential player, accumulating 10 goals and 14 assists in 116 matches (88 starts). He initially began as a midfielder before transitioning to a backline position.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC can now count on Laryea as a ready-made replacement following the trade of Julian Gressel to the Columbus Crew earlier in the summer. Head coach Vanni Sartini often employs a formation with wingbacks and three center backs.
At the Leagues Cup break, Vancouver currently stands seventh in the Western Conference table and is on track for a return to the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. Their star players include midfielders Andrés Cubas and Ryan Gauld, along with striker Sergio Córdova.