Fire wheeling and dealing - trade for Larentowicz

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.


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  • Pause is a pretty expensive backup now. If Thompson was worth a second round pick so is Pause.

  • I will say this, though I'm not pleased about The trade...the Fire central midfield went from having no steel to probably the most with Lindpere and Laurentowicz. Soft offensive players on opponents team will not like playing against this on bit. Add Sega n I see a lot of cards coming...and opponents hesitating or shying away from challenges

  • In reply to MikeRUZE:

    Theres definitely some bite in midfield now.

  • gotta give the Fire some credit for making some interesting moves this season. they are definately getting more "known quantities" than previous seasons, where they were getting guys that we never heard of or hopeful projects like Castillo

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    Sounds very Chitown to me...

    - Scott

  • This is what I like most about the trade: "Colorado reportedly turned down better offers in order to facilitate the player's wish to ply his trade in Chicago."

    As CountChocula said, the recent acquisitions are known quantities, in strong contrast to the Puppo/Robayo/Puerari strategy (and yes, Grazzini, though he has more quality than the other three). Larentowizc and Wells are also being reunited, having played together at both NE and the Rapids from 2007 - 2009 and Thompson also has the NC background in common with Pause. Lindpere doesn't have any Estonian pals on the Fire, but he's already adapted to the league and hopefully settles into the locker room.

    The big question now, which was being asked even after the Lindpere trade, is what happens in the midfield? On the Red Priests podcast, DR and Jeff Krause and co talked about the potential fallout for players like Videira, Pardo, and Paladini. This more has got to raise questions about Pause. While the center of the park would be stronger, and Lindpere can do some damage with his service from there (there were some nice Opta stats analyses on this at Hot Time in Old Town), I don't like him on the outside. He doesn't have the speed or craftiness to make the side he's on a pain in the other team's a**, so any opponent with a fullback who likes to go up the flank be unlikely to worry much about his primary assignment if there's an opportunity to overlap.

    Then again, maybe there's more wheeling and dealing to be done. Who knows? I don't think we've seen the final roster yet.

    Now we can speculate as to who the Fire might pick at #30. Could be a diamond in the rough, as with some of the current players - Johnson, Pause, and Rolfe come to mind...

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    Well, these are tweaks. Not improvements in my eyes.

  • I think they're better with Lindpere and Larentowicz. Those are quality additions that should rate higher than just tweaks. Still need another wide player and that big time #9 though.

    Depth in back also needed, but this is MLS - you can't have everything.

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    In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    I think I have been watching too much EPL and La Liga over the break... Not excited over these moves... but you are right.

  • Fire selected midfielder Yazid Atouba Emane with the 30th pick.

    Left footed, speedy attacker from Cameroon. Will take up international spot if he makes the club.

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