Nottingham Forest defender Richie Laryea helped Canada qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 36 years last night.
The versatile performer was back in his usual right-back spot after playing on the opposite side against Costa Rica last week.
Interestingly, he wasn’t quite as effective and perhaps Steve Cooper can now use him on the left with Max Lowe currently injured.
It really is a remarkable achievement for the Canadians. They’ve qualified ahead of the USA who are still sweating on their place at the winter competition.
Laryea has been instrumental on the international stage. As a result, it’s somewhat bizarre that he’s had to wait so patiently at Forest.
The 27-year-old was signed from Toronto FC in January. He was added to the ranks after stating that it was his dream to play in Europe.
That dream has been something of a nightmare so far though, with Laryea failing to convince Cooper that he’s worth a start.
His performance last week was mesmerising. Despite playing in his normal position last night, however, he wasn’t quite at his best.
Football website 90Min gave him a 6/10 and wrote: “Most of Canada’s best moves came down the left but Laryea still got the job done when called upon.”
Laryea highlights where he can help Forest
Cooper hasn’t done anything at Forest to warrant people questioning him. It does, however, seem bizarre that Laryea hasn’t yet been given a chance.
Interestingly, now has to be the time for Cooper to stick him in the team. During his two outings on international duty, he’s played better at left-back and Forest are short.
Lowe will be missing for a few weeks still and Jack Colback’s presence is sorely missed in midfield when he doesn’t play.
As a result, it’s time to give Laryea a go. His performances for Canada have surely persuaded Cooper that the time is right.