COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – The Colorado Rapids will enjoy some time off this coming weekend after a hectic playing schedule which saw them play seven games in 23 days. The squad will take Friday off and sit back over the weekend with no game scheduled until the home tilt against Real Salt Lake on Oct. 14.
Three Rapids players, though, won’t be getting a rest this weekend. They will represent their national teams over the coming few days. While Steward Ceus and Omar Cummings will play for Haiti and Jamaica, respectively, midfielder Jeff Larentowicz will once again look to establish himself with the US national team, who take on Honduras on Friday and Ecuador on Oct. 11.
“I am encouraged," he told MLSsoccer.com this week before reporting to Florida. "It’s different coming in for the second time in a month, there’s less guesswork, it’s more familiar seeing the coaches’ faces and seeing what they want, getting used to playing with the guys that come over from Europe. It’s a big help to get called back in like that.”
Larentowicz’s inclusion in Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad represents another step forward in the national team set-up for the midfielder who has played such an integral role in the Rapids’ success since joining the team before the 2010 season.
The veteran was called up in January by then coach Bob Bradley and then again for last month’s friendlies against Costa Rica and Belgium. He said he’s excited by the call-up but well aware there is still a long way to go to really etch himself in Klinsmann’s mind as a strong candidate for the US midfield. Larentowicz played as a late substitute against Belgium but did not play against Costa Rica.
“I think it’s still early, these are friendly games and I think that you can see from the MLS guys, guys like Teal [Bunbury] and myself who didn’t get a whole lot of game time last time around, they just want to see a bit more of us,” he said.
Unlike the last round of games, there was no personal call from Klinsmann on his voicemail this time around, just a provisional e-mail from the team saying he may well be included in the squad, followed by a confirmation e-mail.
Larentowicz certainly deserved some time off this coming weekend but he is happier to be in the national-team mix and has learned how to deal with the grinding playing schedule. The midfielder is expected to be back in Colorado after the next week's game against Ecuador in readiness for the Rocky Mountain Cup showdown.
“If you never let yourself think you are going to get the rest and you don’t, then you are fine,” he said. “I never really had the chance to think I was going to get a rest. You keep your eyes closed and you just keep going on.”