Canadian soccer star Cyle Larin arrested for drunk driving in Florida
Brampton, Ont. native was driving wrong way on 4-lane road
Canadian international Cyle Larin, a young MLS forward seen destined for European soccer glory, instead found himself in jail Thursday after being arrested on a drunk-driving charge.
The Orlando City SC striker was stopped around 2:30 a.m. in Orlando after a Florida Highway Patrol car saw a white Cadillac travelling the wrong direction in the wrong lane of a four-lane roadway in Orlando.
The Florida Highway Patrol said the 22-year-old from Brampton, Ont., blew a .179 and a .182 on a sobriety test. The Florida legal limit is .08.
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Breaking?src=hash">#Breaking</a>: <a href="https://twitter.com/OrlandoCitySC">@OrlandoCitySC</a> star, Cyle Larin walks out of jail with no comment after DUI arrest. <a href="https://twitter.com/WESH">@WESH</a> <a href="https://t.co/QU6HBEPpNk">pic.twitter.com/QU6HBEPpNk</a>—@ACrawfordWESH
Larin was arrested on a misdemeanour DUI alcohol or drugs charge and given a citation for driving on the wrong side of the road. He was released from the Orange County jail after spending the minimum mandated eight hours in custody following such an arrest in Florida.
An Orlando City spokesman confirmed the charge but said it would not be making a comment until it had spoken to its player. The Canadian Soccer Association said it had been in contact with Orlando City and would issue a statement in due course.
But soccer will have to wait for Larin.
Under the league's collective bargaining agreement, Larin will have to undergo an assessment by MLS' Substance Abuse and Behavioural Health Program doctors. He is not eligible to return until that assessment is complete and he is cleared to play.
The Florida Highway Patrol arrest report said Larin's Cadillac just missed hitting a Mercedes travelling in the proper lane.
The arresting officer said Larin "had slurred speech and had difficulty answering my questions."
According to the arrest report, Larin said he and a woman in the passenger seat had been at ONO Nightclub in downtown Orlando.
"The driver's eyes were extremely bloodshot and glossy," the report continued. "His pupils were extremely dilated as well. There was an obvious odour of alcoholic beverages omitting (sic) from the vehicle. It became much stronger when the driver would turn his head and look at me, and speak to answer my questions."
Larin told the officer he was from Toronto and unfamiliar with the area, although he said he had lived in Orlando for three years.
According to the officer, Larin also offered several answers when asked how much alcohol he had consumed, at first saying none, then two drinks, then 2-3 "Vodka Red Bulls."
"Mr. Larin continued to change his answers," the officer said.
Larin had difficulty taking part in a field sobriety test, according to the arrest report.
A Florida Highway Patrol spokesman said Larin was co-operative and "respectful" throughout.
Larin earned his 20th cap for Canada on Tuesday in a 2-1 win over Curacao in Montreal.
The soft-spoken striker, a former University of Connecticut star whose previously had only made news for his play on the field, is one of the young stars of Major League Soccer. He has eight goals in 15 games this season, tied for third in the league.
Drafted first overall in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, Larin won rookie of the year honours. He has scored 39 goals in 74 MLS appearances and drawn interest from European teams.
Orlando's next game is against the visiting Montreal Impact on Saturday night.