The Fire continued to add to the roster today with the acquisition of midfielder Jeff Larentowicz from Colorado in exchange for the 11th overall pick and MLS funny money (allocation cash). In addition to Larentowicz the Fire also received the 30th overall pick, which was originally sent to Colorado for Wells Thompson last season. Klopas and company have improved the squad with this move as Colorado reportedly turned down better offers in order to facilitate the player's wish to ply his traded in Chicago.
Larentowicz, a quality defensive mid who is capable of providing a threat offensively was a regular starter for the Rapids over the last three seasons and was a key player in their 2010 MLS Cup run. He was also voted to the MLS All Star squad in that season. At only 29 years old and with a recently signed multi-year contract agreement he should be a fixture on the club for the immediate future. According to the MLS Player's Union he reportedly made $206,000.00 in 2012 and it would seem that the yet unconfirmed move to send Alvaro Fernandez to Qatar makes this move possible. The Fire have yet to confirm either transaction as Fernandez is apparently in Qatar for a physical before the deal is closed.
Chicago has added another solid MLS veteran who improves the overall depth of the squad but central midfield seems a bit crowded now with the recent addition of Joel Lindpere. A central pairing of Larentowicz and Lindpere would certainly make for a different look than what the Fire have fielded over the last two seasons. If they are the assumed starters is it possible that Logan Pause is moved out wide as he was late in 2011? Pause has also played right back, which may also be an option. Who fills Fernandez' role on the outside if it's not Pause? Where does Daniel Paladini, a player who filled in well in spots last season fit in? And what of Pavel Pardo? Stay tuned, the changes aren't over just yet.
Update: The trade is now official. Colorado also received an international roster spot in the deal.