All good things must come to an end. With that in mind, recent news coming out is that Atlanta United has no plans to re-sign MLS veteran Jeff Larentowicz.
Jeff Larentowicz is considered one of MLS’s most influential players of his generation. He has made over 400 appearances in the league, and his contribution to the Colorado Rapids’ MLS Cup win in 2010 and Atlanta United’s MLS Cup run in 2018 has earned him a spot as one of the MLS all-time greats.
Larentowicz embodies all that is good about a soccer player. He doesn’t have fancy tricks or stepovers—he plays with effective simplicity. His defensive skills are outstanding, and his tackling, tracking, and defensive cover abilities are superb. He knew his role, and he performed consistently. In addition to his on-field performances, his leadership qualities made him a dream for coaches and the perfect role model for other players.
Larentowicz was a crucial piece in our 2018 season. Martinez scored all the goals, Almiron provided all the flashy skills and assists, but without Larentowicz, we probably wouldn’t have that winning edge or strong determination to win.
With his leadership and experience, he was able to take an inexperienced, young, and ambitious squad to a higher, competitive level.
The decision to let an influential figure for Atlanta United go raises many questions. It’s a sad moment for the fans because many feel he still has a lot to offer at the age of 37. The team’s performance last season highlighted the need for leaders. Larentowicz is certainly a leader and when he played, Atlanta United looked more capable of closing out the game with a victory. Hopefully this is just a rumor and the powers that be decide to extend his time with Atlanta United.