Larentowicz out to impress Klinsmann
Commerce City, Colo. (August. 29, 2011) - A few weeks ago, Jeff Larentowicz received an email from the U.S. Soccer Federation informing him that he was on the provisional roster for the September friendlies against Costa Rica and Belgium. Uncertain of how or when U.S. Soccer would announce the final roster, Larentowicz was surprised to hear who was on the other line when he answered his cell phone last Thursday.
"I got a phone call from Jurgen Klinsmann and he let me know that they were inviting me in," Larentowicz told ColoradoRapids.com. "We only spoke for a short time, but he sounds very upbeat. To get a call personally from the coach is great. I think it’s a good way to start off and get to know somebody.”
The 28-year-old was set to join the 24-man U.S. team in Carson, California Monday for a week-long camp that includes matches against Costa Rica on September 2 at The Home Depot Center (9 pm MT, ESPN2 and Galavision) and against Belgium on September 6 in Brussels (12:30 pm MT, ESPN).
On January 22, 2011, Larentowicz was one of seven players to make his debut for the U.S. National team in a 1-1 tie against Chile in Carson. This time, he's part of a group that includes World Cup veterans like Tim Howard, Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo, Landon Donovan, and Clint Dempsey, a former teammate of his in New England.
“It’s different, for sure, especially with the guys they brought in from Europe," Larentowicz said. "I don’t know a lot of the players. It’ll be different because there’s a lot of experience in the camp and it won’t just be MLS guys this time."
Larentowicz scored his team-high seventh goal in all competitions in the Rapids' 1-1 tie with Real Espana in Honduras last week. He has started and played all but nine minutes of the Rapids 28 regular season games, and his six goals in MLS play are already a career high.
So what are his goals heading in his first camp under new USMNT head coach, Klinsmann?
“To make a good impression, to give myself another shot, and to hopefully get to play in these games,” he said.
Larentowicz will rejoin the Rapids ahead of the team's next match on September 9 in Los Angeles against the Galaxy.