-- UConn Men's Soccer (@UConnMSOC) November 10, 2015
LOS ANGELES - After tallying 17 goals in his first season in an Orlando City jersey, former UConn men's soccer forward Cyle Larin was selected as the Major League Soccer Rookie of the Year, as announced by the league on Tuesday.
Larin becomes the second Husky to collect the yearly accolade, joining forward Damani Ralph, who picked up the honor in 2003 as a member of the Chicago Fire.
The 21-year old striker, who became UConn's second-straight MLS SuperDraft No. 1 pick in January, broke the all-time MLS rookie goal record - which was held by Ralph - in his first season in the league, ranking sixth among all players with 17 tallies. His four game-winning scores ranked in the top-15 in the league, while his 0.80 goals per 90 minutes mark ranked in the top-10.
"Congratulations to Cyle Larin, he truly deserves the MLS Rookie of the Year award," said Husky head coach Ray Reid. "He joins the late Bobby Rhine, Darin Lewis, Damani Ralph, O'Brian White and Mamadou Diouf as some of the best UConn strikers in college and at the professional level."
He broke the rookie record on Sept. 25, recording a hat trick in the Lions' 5-2 win over the New York Red Bulls. Orlando City closed out its inaugural season with a 12-14-8 overall record, falling just short of becoming the third-ever expansion team to qualify for the playoffs in its first season.
Larin appeared in 39 matches for UConn during his two seasons in Storrs, totaling 52 points on 23 goals and six assists. He was tabbed the American Athletic Rookie of the Year after tallying a league-best 22 goals in 2013, and he earned Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors this past fall. His 1.31 points per game in 2014 ranked 29th among Division I players.
UConn made history in January when Larin was selected with the top pick, as Connecticut became the first school to have back-to-back top picks in the SuperDraft. Former Husky goalkeeper Andre Blake was selected No. 1 overall by the Philadelphia Union in 2014.
The Huskies continue play in the American Athletic Conference Championship when they travel to second-seeded USF for a semifinal tilt on Friday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. Check back with uconnhuskies.com on Wednesday for a complete match preview.