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  • The Story Behind the 'C' in Cyle


    James Grossi
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    Unique names are not rare in sport.

    One theory, is that such an identifying feature helps an athlete stand out in the crowd. They are memorable amidst a sea of James' and Michael's.

    Larin was thrust onto the Canadian soccer scene at the start of 2014, called into National Team camps while still playing college ball at the University of Connecticut. The 20-year old forward saw his first minutes for Canada against Bulgaria in May, then still only 19, and has since delighted fans in Orlando with his play in MLS, sitting on the cusp of a rookie scoring record having been selected first-overall in the 2015 SuperDraft.

    Throughout it all, the 'C' has been a curiosity.

    Undoubtedly already known in some circles, a conversation with Jason Bent, the head coach of TFC II last week began to unravel the enigma, flushing out the details behind the unique moniker.

    Bent was asked about whether Toronto FC were ever aware of Larin's talent, developing so close to the city proper, in Brampton – his hometown – and Mississauga – where he trained with Sigma FC.

    “Funny you say that,” smiled Bent. “My cousin is his godmother and she brought him to my attention when he was about 13, 14 years old and I was working in the TFC Academy at that point in time.”

    Bent, at the prompting of one astute reporter, who asked 'isn't that where his name came from?', would go on to recount how his cousin, Cimone, the aforementioned godmother, and did indeed play a role in the letter selection.

    Cyle's mother, Patricia Larin picked up the story later that week.

    “Her and I grew up together, practically like sisters. When Cyle was born I wanted a name that had a Kha-sound, and I liked the name Kyle, so I said 'How about Kyle?' and she said 'Well, why not spell it with a C?', 'Alright, (I'll) spell it with a C'” she explained with a laugh.

    Mystery solved, no over-tired and under-caffeinated hospital orderly to be pointed to, it was an homage to a close family-friend.

    Ms. Larin, an unceasing supporter of her son, continued, “I know a lot of people make fun of how I spell his name, but I just joke back, 'C' is the Canadian way.”

    And if Cyle is part of the new generation tasked with rejuvenating Canadian soccer, perhaps one day soon with a 'C' will become the new norm, leaving everyone to wonder why is was ever spelt with a 'K' in the first place.

    Before drifting into the wilderness once more, I wanted to apologize for not keeping up to date with the Canadian Content posts. With new developments, it has been difficult to commit the time required to do the job correctly. I fear it may have gotten away from me, but will endeavour to catch back up over the coming weeks, perhaps in a much-condensed form to ease the travail.

    Much has happened worthy of note.

    James can be followed on twitter @grawsee and more of his writing is available at Partially Obstructed View

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