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The Globe and Mail

Toronto’s Richie Laryea agrees to Generation Adidas deal, enters MLS SuperDraft

Canadian midfielder Richie Laryea has agreed to a Generation Adidas contract and will be available in next week's MLS SuperDraft.

A source confirmed that the Toronto native, who turns 20 on Thursday, is going the Generation Adidas route which allows highly touted underclassmen to enter the draft with some attractive contract benefits.

Generation Adidas players do not count against an MLS team's salary budget. Players who join MLS after signing GA contracts receive educational grants to further pursue their education.

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The sophomore from the University of Akron is following in the footsteps of Cyle Larin, who went first overall to Orlando in the 2015 draft. Both came up playing club soccer for Sigma FC in Toronto, with Larin playing two years of collegiate soccer at Connecticut.

Larin was subsequently MLS rookie of the year in 2015.

Laryea enters the draft after a breakout season that saw him score a team-high 11 goals and add seven assists in 22 games for the Zips. He was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's All-American third team.

Fourth-ranked Akron (18-3-3) made it to the semifinal of the College Cup, losing 8-7 on penalty kicks to eventual champion Stanford.

Laryea, listed at five foot nine and 151 pounds, had one goal and two assists in 20 games as a freshman.

The MLS SuperDraft is scheduled for Jan. 14 in Baltimore.

Several other Canadians will look to showcase their skills at the MLS Combine, which opens Thursday in Fort Lauderdale.

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Canadians invited include University of Kentucky goalkeeper Callum Irving (Vancouver), Washington midfielder Josh Heard (Victoria) and Bowling Green midfielder Ryan James (Mississauga, Ont.).

University of Denver midfielder Jordan Schweitzer was part of the initial Combine list but was one of five names withdrawn. With connections to the Seattle Sounders Academy, Schweitzer could enter the league as a Seattle homegrown player.

The MLS, Sounders and University of Denver did not immediately respond to a query about Schweitzer's status.

Schweitzer has dual citizenship. He was born in Dallas to parents from Edmonton.

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