The rumors began flying Wednesday morning. By dinnertime, Jeff Larentowicz was a member of the Chicago Fire.
Less than 24 hours before the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, the Fire announced that the club has acquired Larentowicz and the 30th selection in the second round from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for the Chicago’s 11th pick, allocation money and a 2013 international slot. Per club and league policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Jeff is a hard-nosed player who has consistently been one of the best midfielders in MLS,” Fire president of soccer operations Javier Leon said in a statement. “His MLS Cup and Lamar Hunt US Open Cup championship pedigree will be a welcome addition to our squad.”
The 29-year-old central midfielder, who is heading into his ninth MLS season, started 32 matches for the Rapids in 2012, the first under new Colorado manager Oscar Pareja, and has played in more than 26 matches in each of the past seven seasons.
The Chicago Fire are his third MLS club after spells with the New England Revolution (2005-09) and Colorado (2010-12). Larentowicz was part of a Revolution team that made it to two straight MLS Cup finals and he was also instrumental in the Rapids' 2010 MLS Cup title.
The Fire, who have added veterans Joel Lindpere and Maicon Santos to their roster in the offseason, already have several central midfielders in their ranks, including ex-Mexican national team star Pável Pardo and captain Logan Pause.