When an active player is named to a club’s all-time best lineup, there’s a good chance he’s either been around for a while or made a massive impact during his career. In the case of Jeff Larentowicz, it’s a fair share of both.
The same can be said about Larentowicz’s Rapids Best XI teammate, and fellow active MLS player, Drew Moor. Like Moor, Larentowicz was an integral part in the 2010 MLS Cup winning side and is still plying his trade, currently with Atlanta United FC.
In total for the Rapids, Larentowicz played 96 games over three seasons for a total of 8,447 minutes, scoring 14 times.
The California native began his career in New England and was traded to the Mile High City ahead of the 2010 season. His arrival marked one of the final puzzle pieces for Gary Smith’s side as they embarked on their history-making campaign. He was slotted into the lineup that season and started 29 games, playing over 2,500 minutes and adding four goals.
Alongside captain Pablo Mastroeni, Larentowicz provided a rare combination of technical prowess, physical bite, grit and athleticism needed to power a Cup-winning midfield. His ability to impact the game in every area made him a true box-to-box midfielder, the likes of which are constantly in demand on the world soccer market.
Larentowicz would go on to play two more seasons in Colorado, featuring in 34 of 34 games in 2011, leading the team in scoring and amassing over 3,000 minutes on the way to another playoff berth. During his three seasons, his Colorado teams were known for their physical play in the middle of the park that was incredibly difficult to break down.
In his career, Larentowicz has played 420 MLS matches over 16 seasons and will likely eclipse the 35,000-minute mark before hanging up his boots. Both are incredible numbers for a field player, but it’s not the longevity or ability that comes up first when Larentowicz’s name is mentioned; his personality and off-the-field leadership have made him one of the most respected players to ever suit up in MLS.
Part of this respect arises from the fact that he’s a proven winner wherever he goes. Larentowicz has played in an incredible 30 playoff games across four clubs, winning two MLS Cups and two U.S. Open Cups in addition to the 2019 Campeones Cup.
Larentowicz will be remembered for many things by many fanbases. He’s been an under-the-radar force in helping drive MLS forward, on and off the field, and has seen it grow in various ways. For Rapids fans, his three years in burgundy are synonymous with winning and class, and his place in the Colorado Rapids All-Time Best XI is well deserved.