Cyle Larin was chosen No. 1 overall in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft for a reason, and his selection was validated Tuesday with some hardware.
Larin, Orlando City's star forward, was named MLS Rookie of the Year Tuesday, comfortably beating finalists and U.S. Under-23 national team players Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes) and Matt Polster (Chicago Fire) to win the award. Larin won 96% of club votes, 97% of media votes and 82% of player votes en route to winning the award.
Larin set a new standard for MLS rookies, scoring 17 goals and breaking the record of 11 previously held by Damani Ralph, a mark that stood since 2003.
Larin, a Canadian international, netted four multi-goal games during his inaugural professional campaign after starring at the University of Connecticut. Three of those games came against New York teams, with Larin notching hat tricks against fellow expansion team NYCFC (July 26) and the Supporters' Shield-winning New York Red Bulls (Sept. 25) in addition to two more goals against NYCFC on Oct. 16. His other multi-goal game came against the Columbus Crew on Aug. 1.
Larin's 17 goals were good for fifth-most in the league, five behind Sebastian Giovinco and Kei Kamara (22 apiece).
The 20-year-old Larin is currently with Canada's national team ahead of 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Honduras (Nov. 13) and El Salvador (Nov. 17).