As Soccer Gains Momentum In Canada, Local Rovers Make Big Moves

The big names keep rolling in for the Simcoe County Rovers at a time when soccer has gripped the country at a fever pitch.Canadian international star Cyle Larin has joined the Simcoe County Rovers as a co-owner, addinganother high-profile name to the organization’s front office. The prolific attacking player for the Canadian national soccer team — as well as the Turkish SuperLeague squad Beşiktaş — has acquired a minority stake in the Rovers Sports and EntertainmentGroup. As per club policy, financial details of the transaction are not disclosed.Larin joins fellow Canadian soccer icon Julian de Guzman as a co-owner in the Rovers group, alongwith several other individuals.De Guzman, who serves as president of the Rovers, is Canada’s most capped senior men’s player and the first Canadian to play in Spain’s La Liga.Rovers CEO and co-owner Peter Raco says the club intends on announcing league status in the nearterm for both male and female, with teams fielded for spring 2022.“We have built tremendous momentum over the last months with our three youth affiliation agreements established and the hosting of high-performance clinics across the county with professional soccer player David Monsalve,” Raco told BarrieToday. “All three of our youth affiliatesare operating reserves teams with Athlete Institute FC participating in League1 Ontario Reserved vision this summer and we have hired over 10 paid technical and management staff to help buildour club."We are eager to continue to announce more news in the coming weeks and months," he added.Earlier this summer, Simcoe County Rovers FC were accepted into the Huronia District SoccerAssociation (HDSA). The club has formalized youth affiliation agreements with some of the topyouth programs in the area (Aurora FC, Barrie Soccer, and Athlete Institute FC), representing morethan 6,000 youth members.With the recent Canadian women's gold-medal win at the Summer Olympics in Japan, the qualityof talent on the men's team and the country co-hosting the 2026 World Cup, soccer in Canada maynever have been hotter.Raco believes Canada and Ontario soccer is on the upswing and now is the time to push forwardwith the game.Simcoe County Rovers FC - Site Content for News Section“It's critical we invest in our local development pathways during this time to ensure our region isparticipating in this positive momentum," he said. "Between the women’s inspirational gold-medalwin and the ongoing men’s 2022 World Cup qualifiers, the world is now taking note of Canadianfootball.“We have a proven player pool here in the area," Raco added. "The Barrie Soccer Club continuouslyhas one of the top female programs in the province. We are now bringing in the next layer of toptechnical resources to create a robust player pathway for our region.”Larin has scored a record 10 goals for the Canadian national team in 2021, with a total of 18 goalsand more than 40 caps. He has netted 32 goals for Beşiktaş in the Turkish Super League sincejoining in 2017.After playing college soccer for the Connecticut Huskies, Larin was the first pick of the 2015 MajorLeague Soccer (MLS) SuperDraft, joining Orlando City. In his first MLS season, he also broke therecord for most goals by a rookie, scoring 17 in 27 games and earning the league's rookie-of-theyear award.He played in 89 games and potted 44 goals for Orlando before moving to Beşiktaş for anundisclosed fee in January 2018.A full international for Canada since 2014, Larin represented the nation at the CONCACAF Gold Cupin 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2021.De Guzman was the 2007 Gold Cup most valuable player and also served as the captain of theCanadian men’s national soccer team.In addition to a 15-year professional playing career with spells in the Bundesliga (Hannover 96,Germany), La Liga (Deportivo La Coruña, Spain) and MLS (Toronto FC, FC Dallas), De Guzman servedas head coach and general manager of the Ottawa Fury before the club’s sale to Miami FC in 2019.For more information about the Rovers, head to their website by clicking here or find themon Twitter.