Atlanta United announced today it has signed free agent midfielder Jeff Larentowicz. A 12-year MLS veteran, Larentowicz has played in 324 games for four different teams.
“We’re pleased that a player of Jeff’s quality and experience chose to sign with our club through free agency,” Atlanta United President Darren Eales said. “It’s important for us to find the proper balance between up-and-coming talent and experienced league players, and we feel Jeff will fill a valuable role for us."
Larentowicz, 33, is a versatile player who can play in the midfield and in central defense. Among field players, he ranks No. 11 all-time in minutes played (27,640) and No. 19 in appearances (324). Also durable, Larentowicz has played in at least 23 games each year since the 2006 MLS season. His career began with New England Revolution (2005-09) before making stops with Colorado Rapids (2010-12), Chicago Fire (2013-15) and Los Angeles Galaxy (2016). Along with his extensive MLS experience, Larentowicz also carries a tremendous amount of success as his teams have won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (2007), four MLS Eastern Conference Championships (2005, 2006, 2007, 2010) and the MLS Cup (2010). He has played in 22 career MLS Cup playoff matches.
“Jeff gives us another dimension because of his natural passing and possession abilities,” Atlanta United technical director Carlos Bocanegra said. “His experience and leadership will be invaluable for our younger players, and he’s capable of making a big impact on the field. He’s proven to be a winner throughout his entire career.”
Originally selected by New England with the No. 45 overall pick in the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft, Larentowicz soon became a regular, starting more than 100 matches while reaching the MLS Cup Final in three straight seasons (2005-07). During his time with the Revs, Larentowicz contributed a combined nine goals and 10 assists between league play and 12 playoff matches. He was traded to Colorado where he continued to showcase his durability, playing in 96 matches over three seasons with the Rapids. In his first season in Colorado, Larentowicz netted four goals during league play, tying his career-high, and started in all four of their playoff matches which ultimately ended in an MLS Cup Final victory. He was also selected to the 2010 MLS All-Star Team.
Chicago Fire acquired Larentowicz in a trade ahead of the 2013 season and became the club’s captain by the end of the 2014 campaign. In three seasons with Chicago, Larentowicz made 94 appearances while scoring 14 goals with seven assists. Following the 2015 season, Larentowicz was a member of the first free agency class in MLS history. He chose to sign with Los Angeles Galaxy and remained a mainstay for the club, making 23 appearances and playing in all three of their playoff matches.
Internationally, Larentowicz has four caps with the United States National Team, first being called up to make his debut in a friendly against Chile on Jan. 22, 2011. He made three more appearances for the U.S. in friendlies against Belgium (Sept. 6, 2011), Venezuela (Jan. 22, 2012) and Panama (Jan. 26, 2012).
The MLS offseason will continue with the MLS Waiver Draft on Thursday, Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. Then, the MLS Re-Entry Process will begin with Stage One on Friday, Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. and Stage Two to begin on Thursday, Dec. 22 at 3 p.m.